Arab summit to endorse Palestinian positions with eye on US

The draft, which was drawn up by the Palestinian delegation, was approved by Arab foreign ministers at an eve-of-summit meeting in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh.

Abbas will reaffirm his support for the the two-state solution, continued action in global forums, and the need for the Arab world to treat the Palestinian issue as the main regional issue, according to Majdalani.

"On the Palestinian issue, the resolutions are based on a clear vision toward a peace that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 67 borders", he said. The initiative also seeks for East Jerusalem to be the capital of the independent Palestine.

This was an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump's previously stated intentions to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Arab governments are divided over the way forward in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The resolution is one of "about 17" set to be adopted later this week at the annual Arab summit, this time being hosted by Jordan. "There are numerous challenges facing all of us".

President Bashar Assad is absent.

Abu Rudeineh said the Palestinian people will never forget the constant support of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other countries that have been working relentlessly at an worldwide level to defend Palestinian rights. It was the high point of their talks, although they also aired and reached agreement on the war crises in Syria and Yemen, as well as America's next steps against Iran on both those fronts and in the Gulf region.

The shipments resumed several days ago, signaling possible rapprochement that could perhaps be sealed at the summit. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Staffan de Mistura, the UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, are coming, along with USA and Russian envoys.

Most of the proposed decisions were related to the Palestinian cause.

The two leaders highlighted the pivotal role of the Jordanian-Saudi Coordination Council, an instrument that helps pave the way for even closer relations by enhancing and institutionalising the strategic partnership between the two kingdoms.

Palestinians hope the Arab summit will refocus attention on the Palestinian issue, which has taken a back seat to the ongoing crises in Syria and Iraq.

Yet, he pointed out that the encouraging fact is that "the hearts of Arabs" were still alive, citing the way Arab countries accommodated refugees as "a healthy sign... amid the darkness". That would allow the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state that included the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

The Arab leaders are being asked to support the Saudi plan in its current form, analysts said.

"If Israel wants to be a partner for peace in the region and live in security and peace alongside its neighbors, it should give up the notion that security comes with appropriating more land and it should end its occupation and stop denying our Palestinian people their right for freedom and independence on their own land".

"After decades of talking about it, the President is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", he said.

"Netanyahu is willing to negotiate if the Saudis are ready to come to the table", he added.

  • Leroy Wright