The Middle East
**I was going to take a week off from this link, but I thought I
would post a few important statements and initiatives from the
Middle East, which have been presented over the past week. I
offer them primarily for the archives and without comment on
this page, though I will obviously have something to say on the
overall situation in my “Week in Review” column.
Next Hott Spotts April 11.
March 28, 2002
The Arab Peace Initiative Arab League summit - Beirut,
The Council of Arab States
Reaffirming the resolution taken in June 1996 at the Cairo Extra-
Ordinary Arab Summit that a just and comprehensive peace in
the Middle East is the strategic option of the Arab countries, to
be achieved in accordance with international legality, and which
would require a comparable commitment on the part of the
Having listened to the statement made by his royal highness
Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince of the Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia, in which his highness presented his initiative
calling for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories
occupied since June 1967, in implementation of Security Council
Resolutions 242 and 338, reaffirmed by the Madrid Conference
of 1991 and the land-for-peace principle, and Israel’s acceptance
of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its
capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the
context of a comprehensive peace with Israel,
Emanating from the conviction of the Arab countries that a
military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide
security for the parties, the council:
1. Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a
just peace is its strategic option as well.
2. Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
I. Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied
since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the
June 4, 1967 lines as well as the remaining occupied
Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon.
II. Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee
problem to be agreed upon in accordance with U.N.
General Assembly Resolution 194.
III. The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign
independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories
occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
3. Consequently, the Arab countries affirm the following:
I. Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a
peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all
the states of the region.
II. Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of
this comprehensive peace.
4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian repatriation
which conflict with the special circumstances of the Arab
5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept
this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace
and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab
countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness
and provide future generations with security, stability and
6. Invites the international community and all countries and
organizations to support this initiative.
7. Requests the chairman of the summit to form a special
committee composed of some of its concerned member states
and the secretary general of the League of Arab States to
pursue the necessary contacts to gain support for this
initiative at all levels, particularly from the United Nations,
the Security Council, the United States of America, the
Russian Federation, the Muslim states and the European
Agreement between Iraq and Kuwait
[Iraq and Kuwait sealed a non-aggression pact at the Arab
summit, the first such document since Baghdad’s invasion of the
emirate that triggered the 1991 Gulf War.]
Arab leaders welcome favorably Iraq’s statements concerning its
respect for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity
of Kuwait, which will guarantee avoiding anything that could
lead to a repetition of the events of 1990, and urge the adoption
of policies that can guarantee (Iraqi promises) by showing
goodwill and good neighborly relations.
The leaders call for the halt of (hostile) media campaigns and
negative statements in order to create a positive atmosphere to
reassure the two countries by respecting the principles of good
neighborliness and non-interference in internal affairs.
The respect of the independence, sovereignty, security and
territorial integrity of Iraq.
Iraq is urged to cooperate to find a quick and final solution to the
problem Kuwaiti prisoners and hostages and the restitution of
Kuwaiti properties conforming to international U.N. resolutions.
Kuwait is urged to cooperate on information provided by Iraq on
its missing through the International Committee of the Red
The resumption (of talks) between Iraq and the United Nations,
which started in a positive and constructive atmosphere, in order
to continue the implementation of Security Council resolutions,
is favorably welcomed.
Call to lift sanctions imposed on Iraq to put an end to the
suffering of the brotherly people to assure security and stability
in the region.
Leaders have studied the threat of attacks against certain Arab
countries, notably Iraq, and affirm they categorically reject a
strike against Iraq and any threat against the security and
territorial integrity of any Arab country, which would constitute
a threat against the national security of all Arab countries.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon March 31, 2002
television address to the people.
Citizens of Israel:
The state of Israel is in a war, a war against terrorism. This is a
war that was imposed on us. It is not a war that we decided to
embark upon. This is a war over our home.
The state of Israel, under my direction, made all the efforts to
arrive at a cease-fire. All the time, since I was elected, in the
midst of a wave of Palestinian terror, we placed before us the
goal of doing everything to achieve calm and arrive at political
We cooperated with the U.S. envoy, Anthony Zinni, and we
received terrorism in return. We acted together with Vice
President Dick Cheney, and we received terrorism in return. We
decided to advance the prospects of a cease-fire and concede my
demand for seven days of quiet, and we received terrorism in
return. We withdrew military forces from the cities, and we
received terrorism in return. Everything we received in return
for our efforts was terrorism, terrorism and more terrorism.
We must fight against this terrorism, fight with no compromise,
pull up these wild plants by the roots, smash their infrastructure,
because there is no compromise with terrorism. It is impossible
to compromise with one who is prepared, like the suicide
(bombers) on the streets of Israel’s cities, and in the Twin
Towers in the United States, to die only to kill innocent civilians,
children, women and infants. To die in order to cause fear and
horror. This terrorism is activated, directed and initiated by one
man – the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Yasser Arafat.
Arafat is at the head of a coalition of terrorism. The chairman of
the Palestinian Authority is an enemy of Israel. He is the enemy
of the entire free world. Everyone who seeks freedom, everyone
who was brought up on the values of freedom and democracy
must know that Arafat is an obstacle to peace in the Mideast.
Arafat is a danger to the whole region.
The Israeli government decided at its meeting on Thursday to
begin a wide-ranging operation to root out the terrorist
infrastructure in the Palestinian territories. We will clean out the
terrorist infrastructure from the foundations, because in the end
we know that the only way to reach a cease-fire, negotiations, an
accord, an agreement and peace is if we succeed in wiping out
the terrorism infrastructure.
The state of Israel seeks peace. Our hand is and always will be
extended for peace with the Palestinian people and the people of
the whole region. But no one should be deluded. Our extended
hand does not mean that we will give in to terrorism or to
Citizens of Israel: The state of Israel stands at a crossroads of its
history. The situation is not easy, but we have known worse
situations than this, and we overcame them all. This time, too,
we will emerge victorious. This time, too, we will win, and
when that happens, we will be able to live here together in peace.
[Sources: AP / AFP]