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Ban Ki-moon lauds Arab League's commitment to revitalize Middle East peace plan

19 April 2007 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the statement by a committee of League of Arab States regarding the resuscitation of the Arab Peace Initiative, which in the past he has called one of the pillars of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Yesterday’s announcement by the Arab Ministerial Committee for the Arab Peace Initiative “indicates increased engagement of the League of Arab States to reinvigorate the peace process,” according to a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.

The Initiative, adopted during the Beirut Arab Summit in March 2002, is based on the principle of land for peace.

The plan calls for Israeli withdrawal from all Arab lands occupied since 1967, recognition of an independent Palestinian State and provision of a just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees. In return, Arab countries would recognize Israel, end their conflict and normalize relations.

Mr. Ban also “looks forward to meeting with” the Initiative’s Ministerial Committee, which was created by the League to promote the peace process.

In his opening address at the League of Arab States summit last month, Mr. Ban said that the Initiative “suggests a new way forward for the region” after decades of division over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



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