Thursday, March 27, 2014
Arab Ligue behind Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish state
Closing session of the Arab suimmit in Kuwait. (AP)
Arab leaders unanimously endorsed a Palestinian refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state at their annual summit on Wednesday. After two days of talks in Kuwait, the Arab League was united in its rejection of Israeli demands. The final communique, at the other hand, made no mention of the divisions between Arabian Gulf countries and Qatar. Neither did it fulfil the Syrian opposition’s request for sophisticated weaponry.
The statement at the end of a two-day summit backed the refusal of the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas for his refusal to go along with the demand of Israeli prim minister Benjamin Netanyahu to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “We express our absolute and decisive rejection to recognising Israel as a Jewish state,” the final communique said. Also it stated that the Arab leaders ''hold Israel entirely responsible for the lack of progress in the peace process and continuing tension in the Middle East”.
The diplomatic rift between Qatar and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain was kept off the official agenda at the summit. The Arab League did, however, vow to work towards healing ties between Arab countries.“We pledge to work decisively to put a final end to divisions,” the league’s statement read. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Doha this month in retaliation for Qatari support for the Muslim Brotherhood.
An appeal by Syria’s opposition for advanced arms in the three-year old war against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad went unheeded. In their communique, the Arab leaders condemned the killing of civilians by Assad’s forces in Syria but stopped short of acting on an impassioned plea at the summit on Monday for support for refugees and rebel fighters by the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Ahmed Jarba.
A failure to deliver more aid to rebels — including heavy weaponry — has angered some Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, whose crown prince, Sheikh Salman bin Abdulaziz, on Monday accused the international community of “betraying” Syria by failing to offer support to the opposition.