Moussa : '67 borders could solve settlement issue

Dina Ezzat , Friday 10 Dec 2010

Arab League Chief Amr Moussa believes international adherence to the 1967 borders could resolve the fiercely disputed settlement issue. He also encouraged further worldwide recognition of the Palestinian state

A protester holds a poster during a demonstration against the Israeli barrier in the West Bank(Reuters)

A delayed Arab League ministerial meeting on the ever stumbling Middle East peace process is likely to convene on Thursday, 16 December at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, an Arab League source told Ahram Online.

Furthermore, according to a statement made earlier this afternoon by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, the ministerial meeting "will examine the situation in light of the recent US announcement, declaring Washington's immobility on the settlement [freeze] issue though it might be able to move forward on other issues; there are question marks on this matter but we will still consider it."

The Arab League chief said, "If there is a possibility [for the US] to arrive at an internationally recognised agreement [on a future Palestinian state] adhering to the 1967 borders then such an agreement could help resolve the settlement issue as it would [amount to] world recognition of the illegality of such settlements" and render Israel's claim to all settled land illegal.  

"This again is questionable," Moussa stated.

Moussa insisted that it is crucial to address the issue of settlements one way or the other. "The Israeli intransigence on the issue of settlements must make us think that Israel is not [willing to recognise a future independent] viable Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital".

Meanwhile, the secretary general said the Arab organisation is getting hints of future recognition of the Palestinian state from several world capitals.

Earlier this month, both Brazil and Argentina acknowledged the Palestinian state's right to exist, responding to the request made by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas for the world to recognise the Palestinian state – even though it has yet to be established. 

"We have called on all members of the world community to recognise the Palestinian state and we will continue to work" to increase the number of states who do so, Moussa declared on Friday.

The Arab League this week welcomed the Brazil and Argentina recognition of the Palestinian state and said in an official statement that this acknowledgment communicates a clear message "in the face of Israeli intransigence".

Moussa said that Arab countries need not offer new recognition of the Palestinian state since they had done so in the late 1980s when the state was first announced.

"Palestine is a member of the Arab League," he said.

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