Arab League meeting focuses on Palestinian-Israeli talks
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi on Saturday urged his counterparts in Cairo to raise the Arab-Israeli conflict with the United Nations Security Council, sources close to the meeting said.
Arab foreign ministers arrived in Cairo earlier on Saturday to attend an extraordinary meeting of the Arab Peace Initiative committee to discuss the prospect of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, DPA reported.
In a letter to the Arab League meeting, al-Qirbi said that "Israeli measures form a serious threat to world stability and security, making it necessary for the Security Council to take responsibility and force Israel to stop its violations, lift the siege on Gaza and accept the two-state solution in accordance with international resolutions."
"Israeli practices continue at an accelerated pace, proving, beyond any doubt, that Israel is imposing its unilateral solutions that aim at, from our point of view, terminating the Palestinian cause, which requires a strong and effective Arab stand," al-Qirbi said.
The Arab League meeting comes almost a month after the Arab League announced that it backed a US proposal to start "proximity talks" between the Israelis and Palestinians as a precursor for direct talks between the two sides.
However, this decision was rescinded over an Israeli plan to build housing in contested East Jerusalem.
Syria-based Palestinian factions called on the Arab League committee Saturday not to take any decisions to support "the return of negotiations with the Israeli enemy."
The ten factions, headed by Hamas, warned of the implications of either direct or indirect negotiations.
"We consider any Palestinian or Arab decision to resume talks is to hide crimes committed by the occupation," they said in a statement.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that Israel and the Palestinians would start indirect peace talks next week and that US envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, would return to the region.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas needs Arab backing to ward off internal Palestinian criticism over entering into talks with a hardline Israeli government, without having first had his preconditions met, notably a full freeze of Israeli construction in both the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Israeli-Palestinian talks have been on hold since late 2008.