Saudi Arabia, the EU, and the Arab League held a closed ministerial meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the Arab Peace Initiative, according to a document from diplomatic sources.
“The absence of the prospects for a political resolution of ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the growing threats on the two-state solution, with the rapid growth of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories point to an explosive situation that may erupt at any time and spiral into a new wave of violence or even war threatening the people of Palestine and the wider region,” the document read.
The Arab Peace Initiative, which Saudi Arabia drew up in 2002, is a proposal to end the Arab–Israeli conflict. The Arab League endorsed the peace plan at the Beirut Summit that same year, and Arab nations said they would normalize ties with Israel in return for complete Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands captured in 1967 and creating a Palestinian state.
“Twenty years later, it is apparent that relaunching the Arab Peace Initiative, in support of the Palestinian cause and regional security, is an important step towards paving the way to overcome the hurdles standing in the way of realizing a fair and lasting peace,” the document read.
The objective of the meeting was to look at the prospects of concrete action plans to revive the peace process based on the Arab Peace Initiative and UN Resolutions.
The gathering was initiated and led by Saudi Arabia, while it was co-sponsored by the Arab League and hosted by the European Union.
It brought together officials from over 25 countries and organizations, including the UN, Arab League, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Representatives from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, France, the GCC, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, UK, US, and Yemen will also be present.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borell provided opening remarks before Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit spoke.
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf represented the US.
The US unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as its capital under the Trump administration in 2017.
In recent years, a handful of Arab and North African states struck peace deals with Israel recognizing the Jewish state. But those countries have voiced their support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital.
The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Israel signed what have become known as the Abraham Accords in 2020 in a deal brokered by the Trump administration.
Egypt and Jordan had previously made peace with Israel.