Arab world reacts to US Mideast peace plan
Varied response to so-called 'Deal of Century' with Lebanon and Qatar siding with Palestinians
The Arab world has reacted to the U.S. peace plan for the Middle East also known as "Deal of the Century".
Flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced his plan to end the Israel-Palestine dispute in the White House. He proposed an independent Palestinian state but with the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank and keeping Jerusalem as its "undivided capital".
The Arab League said the so-called "Deal of the Century" violates Palestinian rights.
In a statement, the regional organization said that peace could not be achieved unilaterally but depended on the will of the Palestinians as well.
It asserted that the peace plan is not binding. The Arab League will convene an urgent ministerial-level meeting Saturday to discuss the plan upon Palestine's request.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said it is impossible to accept a Palestinian state without Jerusalem, warning of all-out opposition by the Palestinians against the plan.
"A Palestinian state cannot be accepted without the city of Jerusalem," Abbas said during a meeting of the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
"Jerusalem is not for sale," he added, addressing Trump and Netanyahu.
Palestinian group Hamas decried the terms of the so-called peace plan.
"This deal is not even worth the paper it's written on and Jerusalem will remain with the Palestinians," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri tweeted.
Doha said it welcomes all efforts for permanent and just peace in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Qatari Foreign Ministry praised the "efforts of the incumbent U.S. administration to find solutions to the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict, as long as it is within the framework of international legitimacy and the relevant UN resolutions".
Qatar noted that "peace cannot be sustainable without the rights of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign state on the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, and the refugees' right of return to their lands".
Lebanese President Michel Aoun expressed his country's "solidarity" with the Palestinian people against Trump's peace plan.
This came in a telephone conversation with Palestinian President Abbas, according to a statement issued by the Lebanese presidency.
"Lebanon adheres to the Arab peace initiative that was approved at the Beirut Summit [in 2002], especially the right of the Palestinians to return to their lands and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as its capital," Aoun said.
In this context, the Lebanese president stressed "the importance of a united position of Arabs on the issue of the Deal of the Century".
Egypt on Tuesday welcomed the so-called peace plan with the Foreign Ministry calling on Palestinians and Israelis "to carefully consider the proposed plan".
"We appreciate the continued efforts of the U.S. to reach comprehensive and just peace for Palestinian cause," Egypt's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Riyadh announced its "appreciation" for the efforts by Trump, calling for launching direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia "encourages the start of direct peace negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides under the auspices of the United States, and to address any differences regarding the [peace] plan through negotiations," the ministry said.
United Arab Emirates
The Emirati Embassy in Washington said it considered the so-called peace plan a "starting point" to relaunch negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.
The Emirati Ambassador to Washington Yousef al-Otaibi said the UAE appreciates the American efforts to reach peace.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.