The Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, voiced Tuesday his optimism about the Arab states' summit due to be launched Wednesday in the Saudi Arabian city of Riyadh. He said he is expecting a unified Arab stance in support of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.

Haniya, who will attend the summit along with President Abbas, asserted that the Israeli refusal of the Arab peace initiative and recognition of the Palestinian people’s rights is the problem. The PM voiced his hope that this summit would establish a joint Arab agenda that is capable of tackling current challenges, especially the international economic embargo which is being imposed on the Palestinian people.

Arab leaders are due to begin today a regular summit meeting in Riyadh, where they are expected to reaffirm the 2002 peace proposal which calls for full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories in return for normal Arab-Israeli relations.

Israeli foreign minister, Tsipi Livni, said yesterday that a permanent solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is unlikely for the time being.