Arab League Rejects U.S. Security Proposals

CAIRO (Reuters) -

The Arab League has rejected U.S. proposals that would allow Israeli soldiers to be stationed on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state, underscoring the challenge facing a U.S. effort to wrap up a peace deal by April.

At an emergency meeting called at the request of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby said there could be not one Israeli soldier in the territory of a future Palestine.

But a resolution he read at the end of the meeting did not repeat the harshly critical language of a report circulated to the Arab delegates ahead of the gathering.

The report, seen by Reuters, said the U.S. security proposals “achieved Israeli security expansionist demands, and guaranteed [Israel’s] continued control of [the Jordan Valley] on the security pretext.”

It also described them as “an American retreat.”

Abbas has rejected the idea of Israeli troops being stationed along the Jordan Valley for several years after an agreement is reached, but says he could accept the deployment of U.S. troops there.

The Arab League report said the United States and Israel were linking talks on political issues to the Palestinians’ consent to “the American security solution.” “This is what the Palestinian side rejects,” it said.