Arab League to Lobby U.N. to Recognize Palestinian State

AMMAN (Reuters) -
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi receives Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit (2nd R) upon his arrival to attend a meeting of foreign ministers from six Arab nations, to discuss the U.S decision to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital, in Amman, Sunday. (Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)

Arab states will soon embark on a diplomatic drive to persuade the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state with east Yerushalayim as its capital, Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.

Six Arab foreign ministers met in Amman to follow up on earlier decisions taken by the Arab League to counter U.S. President Donald Trump’s move in December to recognize Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital.

A committee made up of Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinians and headed by Jordan was set up after an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo shortly after Pres. Trump’s decision, that called on Washington to abandon its decision.

Safadi said the ministers would recommend a series of moves to a full ministerial meeting of the Arab League due later this month.

“We will confront the decision by seeking a (U.N.) resolution, an international one, to recognize a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” said Safadi.

He did not elaborate on the timing of the diplomatic moves nor say whether he was referring to a U.N. Security Council or General Assembly resolution.

Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the ministerial meeting would also discuss Washington’s role in future Arab-Israeli peacemaking that member states said was now jeopardized by what they see as U.S. bias towards Israel.

“We want to lessen any losses on the Palestinian side and lessen the Israeli gains,” Aboul Gheit added.

Arab states would also discuss whether to convene an extraordinary summit of their leaders or wait until a scheduled summit in the Saudi capital Riyadh at the end of March, he added.