Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Saudi envoy: Palestinians must stop fighting Israel

Every once in a while, an Arab leader says something sensible. Nothing comes
of it, but it's worth publicizing. --Wendy in Washington

w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 20:35 19/05/2007

Saudi envoy: Palestinians must stop fighting Israel, each other

By Haaretz Staff and DPA
Saudi diplomat Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud on Saturday urged Palestinians to
stop shedding each other's blood, and also called on them to stop directing
their weapons towards Israel.
"Our Palestinian brothers have to stop fighting not just with each other,"
al-Saud told reporters at the Jordan-based World Economic Forum.
"I would also call them to stop fighting Israel with military methods."
"It is a shame that we point our wrath and anger at our fellow Arabs and
Muslims in a more deadly manner than we do our enemies," said al-Saud.
He said that if Palestinians continued "killing each other," the newly
relaunched Arab peace initiative would not get the region anywhere. "This
makes it imperative that we reacquire our fate in our own hands," he said,
adding that in this case neither the United States, Israel or any foreign
state would need to interfere.

Moussa: Israel to blame
Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa on Friday called for fighting
between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah to stop, but blamed the battles
on Israel and what he called its continuation of an economic siege on the
Palestinian areas.
Israel has launched a series of strikes in response to the barrage of Qassam
rockets fired at Israel throughout the past week.
"The inter-Palestinian fighting cannot be averted because the Israeli troops
surround the Palestinian fighters and besiege the Palestinian people to
starvation limits at a time when the unemployment rate was exceeding 70
percent," Moussa said.
The siege of the Palestinians "has created a psychological atmosphere that
degenerated into the present situation," he said, but added that the feuding
between Hamas and Fatah "cannot be justified."
"This fighting should stop because it harms the Palestinian and Arab
attitudes and benefits Israel," he said.
Moussa made the remarks to reporters on the fringes of the World
Economic Forum (WEF) meeting that opened earlier in the day at the
Dead Sea.
Moussa rejected anew Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's offer to open negotiations
with Arab leaders, saying "we don't need formal visits and media
"Israel has first to stop settlements and talk directly to the
Palestinians and realize that the Arab peace plan is quite clear and
represents an unequivocal message of peace," he said.
The Arab League chief said that the participants in a plenary session about
peace, stability and international relations in the region had expressed
worry over the situation and urged the U.S. to take a more neutral approach
to the issues.
The members "came to the conclusion that the situation in the region is
extremely bad and that the United States should change its pro-Israel
policies," he said.
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