Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has described the Arab Peace Initiative as “historic”. Speaking to Israel’s Channel Ten news programme he urged the Knesset not to miss out on the “historic opportunity” for the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Olmert also called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to lead Israel to peace talks and stop looking for excuses.”
The Arab Peace Initiative was launched by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in 2002; it was adopted by the Arab League’s member states. Based on Israel’s full withdrawal from the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the initiative called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. If implemented, it would have lead to a comprehensive peace agreement between the Arab world and Israel. At the time, however, Israel rejected the plan outright.
Peace negotiations have been stalled since October 2010 due to Israel’s ongoing illegal settlement programme in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.