The concluding statement of the 31st Arab League Summit in Algiers has affirmed the centrality of the Palestinian cause as well as unequivocal support for the Palestinians' inalienable rights to freedom, self-determination and the establishment of an independent state on the 4 June, 1967 nominal borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The summit also backed the legitimate right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194 passed in 1948.
The statement issued on Wednesday also affirmed support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative with all its elements and priorities. These include a commitment to a just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option to end the Israeli occupation of all Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan Heights, Lebanese Shebaa Farms and the Kafr Shuba Hills, and to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict on the principle of land for peace in accordance with international law and relevant international resolutions.
It has also stressed the need to continue efforts to protect the occupied city of Jerusalem and its holy sites, and to defend it in the face of the Israeli attempts to change its demographic make-up, its Arab, Islamic and Christian identity, and the historical and legal status quo. This confirmed support for the guardianship entrusted to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan intended to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites and the Jerusalem Waqf (endowments) and Al-Aqsa Affairs Department. The latter is affiliated with the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Sanctuaries in Amman as the exclusive authority, along with Al-Quds Committee and Beit Mal Al-Quds, in defending the city of Jerusalem and supporting the resilience of its people.
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The concluding statement called for lifting the Israeli siege on the Gaza Strip, condemning the use of force by the occupying power against the Palestinians, and all barbaric practices, including assassinations and arbitrary arrests. All Palestinian prisoners and detainees, especially children, women, the sick and the elderly, should be released, it insisted.
The Algeria Declaration affirmed the adoption and support of the State of Palestine's approach for full membership of the UN, and called on countries that have not yet recognised the state to do so. There is an international requirement to support the legal efforts aimed at holding Israel accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity that it has committed and is still committing against the Palestinians.
The Arab efforts to unify the Palestinian ranks were applauded, emphasising the need to unify the efforts of Arab countries towards Palestinian unity.