Arab League summit to oppose Trump’s US embassy Jerusalem move
Sweimeh, Jordan // A draft statement to be put to the Arab League summit on Wednesday opposes plans by US president Donald Trump to move Washington’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and consider alternatives to a Palestinian state.
The draft, which was drawn up by the Palestinian delegation, was approved by Arab foreign ministers at an eve-of-summit meeting in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh.
Arab League member states “reaffirm their commitment to the two-state solution and to the right of the State of Palestine to restore its sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967, including east Jerusalem”, the draft says.
It calls on “all countries to respect UN Security Council resolutions that reject Israel’s annexation of occupied east Jerusalem” and “not to move their embassies” from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.
Since taking office in January, Mr Trump has indicated he is willing to break with decades of US policy by moving the embassy and being open to a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if both sides agree it.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is to join other Arab leaders at Wednesday’s summit. Next month, he heads to the White House for his first meeting with Mr Trump.
Many of the Arab world’s leaders arrived in Sweimeh on Tuesday ahead of the summit.
The UAE delegation was lead by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and included Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Among the main issues to be discussed will be the six-year war in Syria, which shows no sign of abating. During a tour of a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan on Tuesday, UN chief Antonio Guterres called on Arab leaders to set aside their differences to confront the conflict.
“Arab unity is a very important element in order to allow this region to be stabilised and for ... the Syrian refugees to find again a future that corresponds to their aspirations,” Mr Guterres said.
“When Arab countries are divided, it has allowed others to intervene and to manipulate situations, creating instability, breeding conflict and facilitating the lives of terrorist organisations.”
Mr Guterres met with women and girls living in Zaatari, home to some 80,000 Syrian refugees. The war has killed more than 320,000 people and forced 4.9 million people to flee their country.
Published: March 29, 2017 04:00 AM