FM: Withdrawing Arab peace plan means abandoning Palestinian state

“Israeli acts against the [Gaza-bound] freedom flotilla destroy confidence in Israel and its true intentions,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit has said.

The minister went on to say that Israel “should be ashamed” of what it did to a civilian ship bearing the Turkish flag, noting that Turkey normally enjoyed good relations with the self-proclaimed Jewish state. “It’s a humiliation that no one can accept,” he added.

Abul-Gheit also called for firmer positions against continued Israeli settlement building on occupied Arab land and ongoing attempts by Tel Aviv to cleanse East Jerusalem of its Palestinian inhabitants.

On whether Egypt was concerned about Turkey’s increasingly prominent role in the Palestinian file, the minister said, “We welcome all efforts aimed at helping the Palestinian cause.”

On requests from certain quarters to take the Arab peace initiative–first offered in 2002–off the table, he said: “The initiative talks about land for peace, a Palestinian state and a just solution to the refugee problem. Withdrawing the initiative means abandoning hopes for a Palestinian state.”

“If we withdraw the initiative, what other alternatives are there?” Abul-Gheit added.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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