Arab League holds emergency meeting over Trump plan

Al-Jazeera  /  February 1, 2020

The meeting was requested by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who asked Arab nations to join forces against proposal.

The Arab League is holding an emergency meeting in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, to discuss US President Donald Trump’s plan for the Middle East that was unveiled last week.

The meeting on Saturday was requested by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas who asked Arab nations to take a clear stance against the proposal, which Trump had dubbed the “deal of the century”.

The plan presented on Tuesday was negotiated with Israel and had no input from Palestinians, who had cut off all ties with the Trump administration. It envisions the Israeli annexation of large swathes of the occupied West Bank, including illegal settlements and the Jordan Valley, giving Israel a permanent eastern border along the Jordan River.

“They told me Trump wants to send me the deal of the century to read, I said I would not,” Abbas said on Saturday.

“Trumped asked that I speak to him over the phone, so I said no, and that he wants to send me a letter, so I refused to receive it.”

Abbas, who said “a thousand no’s” to the plan, said the Palestinians remain committed to ending the Israeli occupation and establishing a state with its capital in East Jerusalem. Trump’s plan also proposes making Abu Dis, just outside Jerusalem, the capital of a future Palestinian state, which was also instantly rejected by Palestinians.

The Arab League’s head, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, said on Wednesday that an initial study of the plan’s political framework showed that it “ignored legitimate Palestinian rights in the territories”.

He said the Palestinian response would be key in shaping a “collective Arab position” on the plan, which he noted was a “non-binding US vision”.

Majdi al-Khaldi, a diplomatic adviser to Abbas, said the meeting of the Arab League’s foreign ministers aims at issuing a “clear declaration” rejecting the deal.

Al-Khaldi, who accompanies Abbas on his trips to world capitals, said the Palestinian leader would meet Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to discuss measures to “protect the Palestinian people’s rights”.