Manama: The Palestinian cause is expected to dominate the agenda of the Arab Summit, set to take place on Sunday in Tunis, Mahmoud Khmiri, the spokesperson for the summit said.
Ahead of the summit, foreign ministers are gathering on Friday to finalise the agenda and unify their positions over a recent decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981, but still considered Syrian territory under international law.
“The Tunisia Summit supports the Palestinian cause and the establishment of a just and comprehensive political settlement in accordance with UN resolutions, international legitimacy and Arab peace initiatives, by consolidating the principle of ‘two-state solution’ and considering that the non-settlement of the Palestinian cause can only increase the level of tension and instability in the region,” Khmiri said.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh Al Maliki said that Palestine would ask the Arab states to adopt a clear stance towards the decision by some countries to transfer their embassies to Occupied Jerusalem or to open commercial offices with diplomatic representation.
The US, under the Trump administration, has moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem, in a major break with traditional US policy.
“Palestine will also ask the Arab summit in Tunis to announce a clear stance towards Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’ for peace with Israel,” Al Maliki said.
He added that the US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights is the beginning of the implementation of the so-called Deal of the Century.
Trump has touted, since he assumed office, a plan to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, dubbed the ‘Deal of the Century’.
However, his staff have been extremely tight-lipped over the details of the plan.
Palestinians expect it to be majorly biased in favour of Israel, especially because the Trump administration is considered to be the most pro-Israeli in US history.
Arab leaders should insist on the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative, Al Maliki added.
The initiative endorsed by the 22 member states at the Arab summit in Beirut in 2002 offered Israel recognition of its right to exist and a normalisation of diplomatic ties in exchange for its complete withdrawal from Arab lands captured since 1967.
The initiative called for the restoration of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital and a fair solution for the 3.8 million Palestinian refugees.
The initiative, brokered by Saudi Arabia, is based on UN resolutions 242 and 338 which called for Israeli withdrawal in exchange for peaceful ties with its neighbours and the “respect for the right of every state in the area to live in peace within secure and recognised boundaries”.
Meanwhile, the ongoing protests in Algeria will be noticeably absent from the Summit’s agenda, Khmiri said, without elaborating further.