Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Reuters forgets a little something

Reporting on President Obama's meeting yesterday with Saudi King Abdullah, Reuters correspondent Alister Bull cites the substance of their discussion on the Middle East conflict:
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the King had assured Obama of his continued support for the Arab Middle East peace initiative.
This is the 2002 plan originated by King Abdullah offering Israel recognition in exchange for returning occupied territories and allowing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
So there's a Saudi offer of recognition for Israel in exchange for the return of "occupied territories" and the creation of a Palestinian state.  Per Reuters, that pretty much sums things up.

But per the Arab Middle East peace initiative, in addition to the surrender of the eastern portion of Jerusalem, there's a little something extra required of Israel to receive recognition from Arab governments:
Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian Refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
Article 11 of UNGA Resolution 194:
Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible. 
In other words, the Saudi peace initiative demands that Israel agree to a "right of return" for all Palestinians formally classed as refugees, i.e., 4 million new Arab citizens and an end to the Jewish state -- somewhat of a non-starter for Israel.

But anyway, it's nice to know Obama has been assured the Saudis still support this.

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