Amr Mousa, Secretary-General of the Arab League, called on Israel on Tuesday to be more “proactive” in restarting the peace process in the Middle East following the formation of an independent Palestinian State, an Israeli online daily reported.Mousa said that the Arab League expects Israel to present an offer for Middle East peace. His statements came following a meeting with the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Abdullah Al Khateeb.
“Israel has not made any offer, held any serious talks of peace”, Mousa stated, “The Israeli government is continuing with its policies of constructing settlements, and is still delaying the final status talks and resorting to tricks in order to waste time”.
He said that the Israeli stance of rejecting the new Palestinian Unity Government contradicts the position of the United States and the European Union, who signaled readiness to “deal with moderate figures of the new government”.
Israel refuses to recognize the Palestinian government; Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said that the government must fist accept the previously signed peace deals, renounce violence and recognize Israel.
Mousa, currently visiting Jordan, is conducting a regional tour ahead of the planed Arab League Summit which will be held in Saudi Arabia on March 28 and 29.
Arab leaders are hoping that they can build a momentum that would create an opportunity to resume the peace process with Israel based on the 2002 Saudi peace initiative.
The Saudi initiative calls for peace between Israel and the Arab World on the condition that Israel withdraws from the territories it has occupied since 1967. The initiative also offered a solution to the refugee issue in accordance with the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194.
Israel fully rejected the initiative when it was presented, but recently said that it could accept it with some amendments.
Meanwhile, Mousa said that no amendments will be made and that the Arab League is not ready to introduce any changes “or any useless discussion about the contents of the initiative”.
He added that the Arab Initiative is supported by the United States, the European Union and all international powers.
“Israel is just trying to avoid the initiative as much as it can”, Mousa said, “it is trying to get some kind of support from some countries”.
Mousa met with King Abdullah of Jordan on Tuesday at the Hilltop Palace in Amman. He praised the King's efforts in relaunching the Middle East peace process.
King Abdullah stated that the Arab Peace Initiative represents the Arab seriousness and will to achieve peace with Israel.