Arab Peace Initiative

Also referred to as the Saudi Peace Plan and Abdullah Plan. On March 27, 2002, participants of the Arab League summit in Beirut adopted the Saudi-proposed Arab Peace Initiative, calling for “full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, in implementation of [United Nations (UN)] Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 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.” The plan also called for a “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugee issue based on UN General Assembly Resolution 194. The Israeli government rejected the initiative immediately, calling it a “non-starter,” though the Quartet on the Middle East endorsed the Initiative in 2003. The Arab League voted to renew its commitment to the plan in 2007, and Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah endorsed it enthusiastically, though Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas abstained. This time, the Israeli government reaction was mixed, with some political leaders expressing reserved support for certain aspects of the plan, and others continuing with a rejectionist line. Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert expressed readiness to negotiate on many of the plan’s points, but stressed Israel’s refusal to negotiate on the refugee issue. U.S. President Barak Obama officially supported the plan in 2008. Arab states began revising elements of the peace plan in 2009, in order to make it more palatable to Israel, including the provisions dealing with the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and possible land swaps. See "The Arab Peace Initiative for Peace," Alia Al-Kadi, The Atkins Paper Series, June 2010; and "Israel shows new openness to Saudi Peace Plan," Ilene Prusher, Christian Science Monitor, May 16, 2007.

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