Arab nations to 'recognise Israel'

Israel's foreign minister has said he expects 11 Arab countries to establish relations with Israel soon.

    Shalom says he recently met a number of Arab foreign ministers

    Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom made the comments after meeting the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Muhammad Asim, on Sunday.

    Shalom said he expected the process to be finalised after the end of a summit of Arab countries which is currently taking place in Algeria.

    He said he recently met a number of foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries, and pointed out that Morocco would reopen its representative office in Tel Aviv shortly.

    However, at least one Arab country - Morocco - poured cold water on Shalom's comments.

    Muhammad al-Ashab, a Moroccan writer and journalist, told Aljazeera this was not the first time Israel had made such an announcement.

    Arab-Israeli conflict

    "Whenever a meeting is held between Arab and Israeli officials, Israel rushes to use the event for political purposes," he said.

    "Rabat conforms to unanimous Arab resolutions and its policy is clear towards Israel whose nationals have been prohibited from visiting Morocco"

    Muhammad al-Ashab,
    Moroccan writer and journalist

    "Sources at the Moroccan Foreign Ministry said Shalom accidentally met his Moroccan counterpart bin Isa at Geneva airport. It was just a protocol meeting so there was not any possibility to agree to resume normalisation."

    He added: "Rabat conforms to unanimous Arab resolutions and its policy is clear towards Israel whose nationals have been prohibited from visiting Morocco."  

    Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers have agreed on a plan to announce the end of the Arab-Israel conflict and begin normalising relations with Tel Aviv.

    A draft resolution, agreed at an Arab summit in Algiers, called on Israel to completely withdraw from occupied Arab land in Palestine and Lebanon, and to recognise an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    The resolution also called for a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee issue and rejected Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera


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