Arab League to hold emergency meeting over US support for Israeli settlements

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The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers on Monday to discuss Washington’s change of position on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Egypt’s state news agency MENA said on Wednesday.

US President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday abandoned the United States’ four-decade position that the settlements were “inconsistent with international law.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech at the State Department on Monday that the Trump administration, after carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, concluded the “establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not, per se, inconsistent with international law.”

The Arab League, of which Saudi Arabia is a member, condemned Pompeo’s statement as “a very negative development.” Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Tuesday the decision would result in “more violence and cruelty” against the Palestinians at the hands of the Israeli settlers and “undermines any possibility” of achieving peace.

In a related development, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it completely rejects the Trump administration’s statement that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are no longer considered illegal under international law.

with Reuters

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