Gaddafi: US sets Arab League agenda | News | Al Jazeera

Gaddafi: US sets Arab League agenda

Libyan president says Arab leaders at talks in Riyadh are under orders from the US.

    Gaddafi: Rice gives orders to Arab leaders
    'US orders'
    Gaddafi said: "She gives orders to Arab leaders ... and Arab foreign ministers ... and she leads the Arab security services.
    "She brought the decisions and the Arab summit's agenda ... Why do they [Arab leaders] bother themselves and attend the summit if everything has been already decided in Washington?"
    The Riyadh summit is expected to renew an offer of full peace and normal ties with Israel, if it complies with the conditions of an Arab peace blueprint.
    The plan, first adopted at a summit in Beirut in 2002, says Israel must withdraw from all Arab land it occupied in the 1967 war, accept the creation of a Palestinian state, and agree to a "just solution" for Palestinian refugees.
    Gaddafi said: "Libya has never backed the Arab peace initiative in the Middle East. It presented reservations over the initiative in Beirut summit in 2002."
    He again talked about what he believed to be a solution for the Palestinian cause, which is the establishment of a two-nationality state called "Isratine".
    Political crisis
    Besides Palestine, the Riyadh summit will also tackle other regional issues such as the Iraq conflict that has divided Sunni and Shia Muslims across the region, and the ongoing political crisis in Lebanon between the Western-backed government and the opposition trying to topple it.
    Arab leaders are also considering a proposal to forge closer military and security ties, as well as co-operation on developing nuclear energy.
    Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi's foreign minister, said the Arab peace initiative will have a strong chance of winning international support and of reviving Israeli-Arab peace talks if adopted unanimously by all Arab leaders at the March 28-29 summit.
    Draft resolutions agreed on Monday are dominated by the Arab-Israeli conflict and appear designed to persuade Israel to open talks without altering the text of the peace initiative.
    The draft text obtained by Reuters calls on "all Israelis to accept the initiative and seize the current opportunity to return to direct and serious negotiating process at all levels".
    Palestinian refugees
    Israel has objected to some parts of the plan, including the proposed return to the 1967 borders, the inclusion of Arab East Jerusalem in a Palestinian state, and demands for the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in what is now Israel.
    The text is also viewed with reservations by the Islamic Hamas movement now leading the Palestinian government.

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    Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader in exile, was quoted by Saudi media as urging Arab leaders before the Riyadh summit not to make concessions on the demand for the Palestinian refugees to return.
    Hamas demands a right to return for all Palestinians who fled or were driven out of what is now Israel during the 1948 war.
    It has refused to recognise Israel but Palestinian officials say it has agreed not to go against the peace plan. The final draft avoids any mention of the phrase "right of return" for Palestinian refugees.
    Instead, it calls for a just solution to the refugee problem.
    It also sets up a mechanism to promote the peace plan that could pave the way for Arab countries with no ties to Israel to open channels of communications with Israel - a long-time goal of US administrations.


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