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June 16, 2016 2:34 pm

Egyptian, Jordanian Ambassadors Urge Israel to Adopt Arab Peace Initiative

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Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat. Photo: Facebook.

Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat. Photo: Facebook. – The Egyptian and Jordanian ambassadors to Israel, in a rare joint public appearance, urged Israel to accept the Arab Peace Initiative as a way to end the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Egypt still believes that reaching a peace agreement is achievable,” Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat said in a speech at the Herzilya Conference.

“Israelis and Palestinians should make peace because they must. The two-state solution is the only way to end this conflict. There is not much time left and there is no other alternative,” he added.

Jordan Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat reiterated Khairat’s call, saying that the Arab Peace Initiative “stands as the master of all initiatives when we talk about regional approaches.”

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First proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, and later adopted by the Arab League, the plan calls for Israel to return to the pre-1967 lines and implement a solution to the Palestinian refugee situation in return for full recognition of Israel by the Arab world.

Over the years, Israel has been tepid in its response to the plan, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — sensing warmer relations with the Arab world — has called for a revised version of the plan as the basis for a regional solution to the conflict.

In recent weeks, Egyptian leaders have expressed a willingness to lead Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Separately, France has engaged in peace efforts, hosting a summit of world leaders in Paris on June 3 with the intention restarting Israeli-Palestinian talks. But the French summit excluded Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

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