Arab summit comes to an end

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Flag of the League of Arab States
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Arab leaders ended their annual summit Wednesday with no new initiatives for peace with Israel. The summit, held in Algeria, coincided with the 60th anniversary of the Arab League.

The summit rejected Jordan's plan to normalise relations with Israel by instead sticking to the 2002 peace plan. That plan promised to normalise relations only after an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories, the creation of a Palestinian state, and the settlement of Palestinian refugees.

The summit announced the creation of an Arab Parliament to be based in the Syrian capital of Damascus. It will contain four members from each of the 22 Arab League states.

Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, the longest serving Arab leader at the meeting, caused tensions by telling the Palestinian delegation he thought both "Palestinians and Israelis are stupid." He also reiterated his call for a single state solution, saying "the solution I think is to have a single state. We cannot have two states." He also addressed terrorism, claiming it was the result of "oppression, injustice, arrogance, insults, contempt and the humiliation of this [Arab] nation."

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