February 1, 2018 (WAFA) – Minister of Foreign and Expatriates Affairs Riyad al-Malki affirmed on Thursday that the shape of the Arab countries’ response to the US decision on Jerusalem will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
Al-Malki‘s comments came during his speech at the meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Cairo during which they discussed the Arab action in response to the US decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel‘s capital.
“The shape and level of the Arab [countries’] response will determine the future of peace and stability, based on an end of Israeli colonization of all the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, especially East Jerusalem,” he affirmed, adding: “There is no peace without Jerusalem.”
The minister stressed the importance of the Arab countries‘ commitment to the decisions of the Arab summits and the Arab ministerial meetings on Jerusalem, urging for confronting any decisions that recognize Jerusalem as capital of Israel to prove the seriousness of the Arab position.
He affirmed that the decision of the US President Donald Trump on Jerusalem “completely ended the US administration‘s sole sponsorship of the peace process and constituted a sharp breakdown of the credibility of the United States in terms of its role in the international community," he said.
He said he has presented to the meeting a draft resolution in which a number of practical steps are taken to confront the US’ decision on Jerusalem, its effects and consequences, adding that the draft resolution includes important steps that are necessary if “we need to have a serious horizon for a two-state solution.”
He said these steps are based on “confronting and raising the cost of the Israeli colonial occupation,” and “working with all international parties to create a serious and credible international framework based on recognized international references. This leads to a solution that ends the Israeli occupation and establishes a sovereign Palestinian over all the Palestinian land occupied in 1967, especially East Jerusalem.”
Al-Malki also said the US decision constitutes a serious breach to the rules of international law as it deliberately ignores 250,000 Palestinians living in Jerusalem.
Since the decision was made, al-Malki noted, the Palestinian leadership has met with a number of international bodies that have affirmed their rejection of the US move, which he said not only affects the status of Jerusalem, but also threatens the international system and international law.
Meanwhile, al-Malki said the issue of Palestinian refugees has been going on for 70 years, adding that today Israel, with US support, is seeking to end the mandate of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which represents the responsibility of the international community towards six million Palestinian refugees.
"The United States has cut its funding to UNRWA by half. Are we witnessing the removal of the refugee issue from the negotiations table of the United States?," al-Malki wondered.
The foreign minister stressed the importance of working collectively to confront any attempts to undermine UNRWA‘s vital role, call for supporting the UN agency by all possible means.