The United States of America welcomed the Arab countries' endorsement of the 2002 peace plan that the Arab countries drew in their previous Arab Summit that was held in Beirut. Ending their summit in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, Arab leaders endorsed the plan and called on Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied since 1967 in return for peace with the Arab world.U.S state department spokesperson, Sean McCormack, said that the outcome of the summit is very positive regarding peace settlements between the Arab World and Israel.
During her last week visit to the region, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, pressed Arab leaders to follow up on the Arab plan and use it as the basis to engage with the Israelis, Israeli online daily Haaretz reported.
Meanwhile, McCormack said that he cannot make further comments on the Arab summit’s endorsement of the plan until he receives further details.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday that if Israel rejects the Arab peace plan, and rejects that Palestinian hand of peace, there could be further violence in the region; and called for an international peace conference.
He said that the Palestinians are extending their hands out for peace with the Israelis, and that they do not want to waste any chances for peace.
Moreover, Abbas added that the entire region will suffer and will be under the threat of war if the chance of peace is wasted, and said that the absence of peace could lead to regional and international confrontations.
Also on Thursday, Israeli vice prime minister, Shimon Peres, said that Israel rejects a full withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, rejects a withdrawal from Jerusalem and rejects the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees.
Peres said that a solution could be found, but added that Israel would not fully withdraw from the territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem. He welcomed the Arab peace iniative but said it cannot be implemented without amendments.