Arab leaders broach reconciliation with Israel in return for occupied territory


'Israel is continuing to expand settlements and wreck chances of peace.

Al-Bashir was welcomed Tuesday by Jordan's King Abdullah II.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed AbulGheit said on the sidelines of the summit, affirming that economic development is one of the main goals and wishes of all Arab countries. While Israel claimed the city as its "eternal capital" after occupying East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israel war, the global community does not recognize the claim and foreign embassies are now located in Tel Aviv.

Arab leaders also seek to coordinate their efforts against terrorism, which has become a global phenomenon that haunts the worldwide community and strikes various locations of the world, threatening worldwide peace and security, and leaving no doubt that it will occupy an important part of the Summit.

Arab leaders are gathering for an annual summit where the long-stalled quest for Palestinian statehood is to take center stage.

The 21 kings, presidents and top officials gathered on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea, with a clear view of the Israeli-occupied West Bank on the opposite shore.

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Trump surprised Arab leaders on February 15 when he said that he does not commit to a two-state solution.

Syria, which has been suspended from the Arab League, was not invited.

The summit's concluding statement also called on all countries not to relocate their embassies to Jerusalem, and to respect all UN Security Council resolutions.

The Arab monarchs and presidents attending Wednesday's summit will meet at the Dead Sea, only a few km (miles) from the West Bank and with Israeli settlements visible to the naked eye.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, Trump said he would be open to a one-state solution, upending a position taken by successive administrations and the global community.

A show of unity was expected on the Israeli-Palestinian question, but on other issues analysts said any breakthrough was highly unlikely.

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The leaders are set to discuss the wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, the fight against "terrorism" and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to Jordan's information minister.

Arab leaders reaffirmed yesterday their commitment to a two-state solution to the decades-long Arab-Israeli conflict.

At that meeting, Trump broke with decades of USA policy by saying he was not bound to a two-state solution to the conflict and would be open to one state if it meant peace.

Some 133 Palestinian NGOs yesterday called on the Arab League to take the needed measures to impose sanctions on Israel over its "violation of worldwide law and global legitimacy", the Anadolu Agency reported.

Jerusalem is home to a major Muslim-run site - the Al Aqsa Mosque compound - that is also revered by Jews as their holiest site and home of their biblical Temples.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was a guest of the summit, deplored the refugee crisis that has created "anguish", condemning "waves of populism" across the globe, causing "developed countries to close their borders" to refugees.

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He further noted that relations between the Arab countries should be based on mutual interests and non-interference in their domestic affairs.