Arab League urges ‘new approach’ to Mideast conflict
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on Monday called for a “new approach” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, slamming previous processes as a waste of time.
“In order to solve this problem, we should have a new mechanism and new methods and a new approach to dealing with the crisis,” AFP reported Arabi as saying after talks with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
“The main target after all these wasted years should be ending the Israeli occupation, not signing temporary agreements that would go round in circles and that would only lead to wasting time in a way that allows Israel to expand its settlements,” he said.
Last month, Arabi had criticized the International Quartet -- which comprises the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia -- as ineffective.
For his part, Van Rompuy said there must be “concerted and coordinated actions by all key actors to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
“Now is the time to look forward and to take bold steps towards peace in the Middle East,” he said.
Jordan’s king urges Israel
In a related story, Jordan’s king has warned that the failure to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is adding to regional tensions.
A statement from the royal palace said King Abdullah II told a delegation from the Washington-based American Israel Public Affairs Committee that regional changes tied to the Arab Spring should “drive” the Israeli government to “embrace peace,” the Associated Press reported.
In his talks Monday with the pro-Israel group, the king also called on Israel to stop measures that he said hinder peace efforts, including West Bank settlement construction.
Abdullah urged Israel, the Palestinians and the U.S. to resume peacemaking efforts. He called for direct talks based on a two-state solution, which envisions the establishment of a Palestinian state.
He said it remains the “only formula” to end the 65-year old conflict.