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Palestinian FM blames Arab states for emboldening U.S. over Jerusalem

Arab Summit will reaffirm commitment to 2002 Arab Peace initiative, Palestinian FM says

RAMALLAH, March 8 (Xinhua) — Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Malki blamed the failure of Arab states to implement their past decisions for emboldening the U.S. to continue its approach toward Jerusalem, local media reported Thursday.

“Our failure as Arab states has encouraged the United States to continue with its unfortunate approach and to make its decision on Jerusalem,” Malki said in statements to the official Palestinian radio Voice of Palestine.

Malki made the remarks after the end of the 149th session of the Arab League meeting in Cairo Wednesday, the report said.

Mentioning that there is an Arab consensus on the Palestinian cause, Malki criticized the Arab League for not carrying out its resolutions, which would have halted the U.S. and Israeli moves toward Jerusalem.

“Our failure has also encouraged a small country like Guatemala to decide to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem,” he said, adding that this is simply because Arab countries do not have any means to pressure Guatemala to rescind its decision.

There is a former Arab League decision to cut diplomatic ties with any country that recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel or move its embassy there, Malki said.

The Palestinian minister has required Arab countries to activate this resolution, but the league failed to reach a consensus on the decision.

Regarding the international conference proposed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Malki said that the proposal has not yet crystallized and that the Palestinians are seeking a wider coalition before holding the conference.

On Dec. 6, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced to recognize the disputed holy city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordered the relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

Israel took over East Jerusalem in the 1967 war and later declared the united city as its eternal capital, while the Palestinians hope to establish a future independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

On Feb. 20, Abbas presented a peace initiative in a speech before the UN Security Council, proposing to hold an International peace conference in mid-2018 to jumpstart the Israeli-Palestinian final status talks based on the two-state solution and UN resolutions.

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