Israeli officials welcome Arab League on peace plan

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office said that it “welcomed” the Arab League’s agreement to a Middle East peace plan that would allow for agreed-upon land swaps.


The statement, issued late Tuesday by the office, said that Israel “welcomed the support given by the Arab league delegation and the U.S. secretary of state to the diplomatic process.”

The statement also said that Israel was ready to restart negotiations immediately without any preconditions, and that the “two sides can present their positions in the negotiations.” 

The statement came after Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League, said Monday during a visit to Washington that the Arab countries favor a peace deal based on the 1967 borders, but would agree to “comparable” and “minor” land swaps on which the two sides agree.

The Arab League delegation met with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has visited the Middle East three times since taking his post.

Kerry has been working with the Arabs and Israelis to accept a modified version of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative offering Israel a comprehensive peace with the Arab countries in exchange for all land captured in 1967. Saudi Arabia introduced the initiative, which was accepted by the Arab League.

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