A two-day Arab league summit was concluded Sunday in the Syrian capital of Damascus, with the participation of 11 Arab states’ leaders and the absence of Lebanon.
Syrian president, chairman of this year’s summit, Bashar aL-Assad, said in a concluding communiquÃ©, that the Arab states remain committed to the Arab peace initiative, drafted in 2002’s Beirut summit meeting.
aL-Asad reaffirmed the provisions of the peace proposal, including end of the Israeli occupation of the Arab lands involving the Syrian Golan Heights, the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, once and for all, in return for peace with Israel.
Israel has yet to respond positively to the Arab initiative, endorsed as well by last March’s Riyadh summit.
From his part, Mr. Amr Mousa, chief of the league, had earlier stated in a speech that the Arab states might be obliged to take a ‘painful’ position if Israel keeps up refusing the Arab initiative.
The summit meeting also backed the Yemeni proposal for reconciliation between the rival Palestinian parties, Hamas and Fatah, which signed the Yemeni pact last Sunday.
This year’s summit comes on the heels of several outstanding Arab issues, including the latest Lebanese standoff the upcoming President of Lebanon, the Iraqi volatile situation and the Sudanese Darfor crisis.
Since 2000, following the outbreak of the second Palestinian Intifada (uprising), the Arab states began to hold a regular yearly summit to follow up on Arab concerns. Summit of this March is the twentieth over the past six decades.