'Yes' to Egypt Initiative

ABU DHABI - Arab countries support the Egyptian initiative and Cairo’s efforts to foster Palestinian unity and reconcile Palestinian and Israeli differences, UAE Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on Tuesday.

By Kt Report

Published: Wed 4 Feb 2009, 2:09 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:36 AM

In a statement to Wam after a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Shaikh Abdullah said the ministers are also preparing to hold a donor conference in Egypt on March 2 for the Palestinians.

The meeting in Abu Dhabi follows a call by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz for Arab reconciliation at the Arab Economic Summit in Kuwait last month.

Foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Palestine, Yemen, and Tunisia attended Tuesday’s meeting hosted by the UAE.

Shaikh Abdullah added this meeting will be followed by similar ones in the coming weeks which will be attended by foreign ministers of other Arab countries as well.

“Our aim is to boost Arab solidarity and mobilise backing for the Arab Peace Initiative, bolster support for the Palestinian Authority under the leadership of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and for the Palestine Liberation Organisation — the sole representative of the Palestinian people,” he said.

“The ministers also stressed the urgent need to stop all Israeli settlements, especially in the areas around Jerusalem, and voiced their deep concern for plans by Israel to expand settlement activity around the holy city.”

In a clear reference to Iran, he said, “We have to ensure with our unity that unwelcomed, non-Arab parties do not interfere in our affairs in an unneeded manner.”

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said international and diplomatic efforts should be joined to support a sustainable and durable ceasefire to help the people in Gaza Strip.

He also affirmed the need to open the borders to allow humanitarian reliefs into Gaza Strip.

Answering a question on the UN’s position on Hamas’ latest offer of a one-year “true” truce for the opening of Gaza crossings by Israel, Ban said, “We must have the ceasefire (in Gaza) durable and sustainable through diplomatic efforts.“The longer the ceasefire holds, the better for the peace process in the region (Middle East).”

Ban was in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday for his first official visit to the UAE. He met Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Shaikh Abdullah and discussed relations between the UAE and the UN.


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