Arab rejection eliminates chances for implementation of U.S. peace plan: experts

2020-02-03 08:36:27 GMT2020-02-03 16:36:27(Beijing Time) 菲律宾申博在线代理开户登入

CAIRO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- The rejection of Arab states of the recently-proposed U.S. peace plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict eliminates chances for the plan's implementation, said Palestinian and Egyptian experts.

In an emergency meeting at the Arab League (AL) headquarters in Cairo on Saturday, Arab foreign ministers unanimously agreed to boycott the U.S. plan, also known as the "Deal of the Century," and not to cooperate "in any way" with Washington in its implementation.

The final statement of the Arab meeting described as "unfair" the peace deal, announced on Jan. 28 by U.S. President Donald Trump, in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"The U.S. deal was born dead, as it does not respond to the minimum aspirations of the Palestinian people in the establishment of their independent state based on the pre-1967 borders," said Barakat al-Farra, former Palestinian ambassador to Cairo and former Palestinian representative at the AL.

Al-Farra stressed that the Arab consensus on rejecting the U.S. deal "eliminates any chance for its success," adding that the deal violates international legitimacy resolutions and it leads to neither peace nor stability in the Middle East region.

"Arabs opposed the deal for objective reasons, especially that it represents a U.S.-Israeli plan to take the issue away from the UNSC (United Nations Security Council)," the Palestinian ex-diplomat told Xinhua, describing the deal as "biased to Israel."

Al-Farra said that if Israel implements the deal unilaterally, it will be an illegitimate act without legal basis and so it will be rejected by the UN.

Mokhtar Ghobashi, deputy chairman of the Cairo-based Arab Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that the Arab rejection of the U.S. deal is not enough unless it involves mechanisms to pressure the United States and Israel to give it up.

"The Israeli side has the green light from Washington to implement the deal and Trump has told the Palestinians that they have four years to study it," said the Egyptian political expert.

He added that relying on UN resolutions is insufficient because they have been disregarded when the United States relocated its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the AL meeting on Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the U.S. deal is "completely rejected once they announced annexing Jerusalem to Israel," vowing to cut ties with Israel and the United States over the deal.

The United States, Israel's main backer, officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in late 2017 and relocated the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the holy city in May 2018.

While Jerusalem is to be Israel's "undivided capital," the Palestinian capital will include areas on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, according to the U.S. vision on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Tarek Fahmy, a political science professor at Cairo University, emphasized that "the U.S. deal shows persistence on legalizing Israeli settlement construction on Palestinian occupied territories, which is the most dangerous thing that could happen."

Along with Trump and Netanyahu, diplomats from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman attended the announcement of the U.S. deal at the White House in late January.

"Washington tries to cause and invest a kind of division in the Arab world while luring some regional and international parties to support the deal," the political science professor told Xinhua.

Fahmy described the Arab rejection of the U.S. Mideast peace plan as "a good stance" that shows a united Arab position in support of the Palestinian cause.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict erupted following the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the Western-backed creation of Israel in 1948.

"The Palestinian plan to raise the issue at the UN and other organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the African Union is a good thing but it needs further practical mechanisms," Fahmy said.

He predicted that Trump's administration would attempt to ruin the Palestinian efforts and use the veto right against any future UN resolution in favor of the Palestinians.

The plan states that "the State of Palestine shall be fully demilitarized and remains so" and it will have to give up 30 percent of the West Bank.

"It also says that the future state of Palestine will not have any land, sea or air outlets or sea and air sovereignty. The deal seeks a demilitarized Palestinian state that is part of Israel," said Samir Ghattas, head of Middle East Forum for Strategic Studies and member of the Egyptian parliament.

"The Palestinians still seek negotiations to reach a solution based on the international references and the Arab Peace Initiative endorsed by the Arab League in Beirut in 2002, and they don't want the United States to be the sole mediator of the peace process," Ghattas told Xinhua.

He added that "the deal was undoubtedly born dead and is surely doomed to fail."

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