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Egypt has no desire for amendments Arab Peace Initiative: Shoukry

FM Sameh Shoukry is in Ramallah to carry President El-Sisi's message of support for Palestinians

Ahram Online , Friday 1 Jul 2016
Sameh Shoukry
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, right, meets with Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry at the President's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, June 29, 2016. (AP)
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The Egyptian government has no intention to push for amending the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry said in an interview with Palestine TV according to state news agency MENA.

The foreign minister was in the West Bank capital Ramallah Wednesday to deliver a message from Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas expressing support for a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.

The Arab Peace Initiative calls for Israel's withdrawal from territories it occupied after the 1967 Six-Day War, resolving the issue of Palestinian refugees – a point of contention for the Israelis - in a way that leads to the creation of a Palestinian state.

In exchange for Palestinian statehood, Arab states would normalise relations with Israel.

Palestine and Arab countries are in talks to choose the best time to push for a decision in the United Nations Security Council to stop Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories, Shoukry said during his interview in Ramallah.

"The Arab Initiative is valid and ratified on the Arab League level," said Shoukry, adding that "it is recognised on the level of the international community."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said earlier this month the initiative needs to be ammended before Israel can support it.

"We discussed the efforts of Palestinian reconciliation during my meeting with President Abbas, and we are always supporting the unity of the Palestinians," said Shoukry, adding that this unity "would consolidate the ability to negotiate and reach the goal of establishing the Palestinian state."

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