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Israel gives guarded response to Arab plan

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Israel gives guarded response to Arab plan

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There has been a guarded response from Israel to Saudi Arabia’s calls for it to accept the 2002 Berlin Declaration. The plan has been revived by leaders meeting at the Arab League summit in Riyadh. It is seen as a generally acceptable starting point for negotiations on the Palestinian issue. Under its terms, Arab nations would recognise Israel if it withdrew from land occupied in the 1967 war.

Saudi’s King Abdullah said the Arab League itself must bear some responsibility for the situation: “The real blame for conflicts in the Middle East lies with us, the leaders of the Arab League. Our continuous disputes, rejection of unity, these reasons have led the League to lose its credibility and lose hope in today and the future.”

The Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh urged leaders not to compromise on the issue of refugees. Israeli’s Deputy Prime Minister voiced reservations but said Israel was prepared to work to overcome them.