Arab League emergency meeting makes important statement over President Trump Middle East peace plan

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Arab League emergency meeting makes important statement over President Trump Middle East peace plan

CAIRO: The Arab League on Saturday rejecting US President Donald Trump's controversial Middle East plan said that it did not meet the "minimum rights" of the Palestinians.

The pan-Arab bloc convened in Cairo days after the US unveiled its plan which is seen as favouring Israel.

The meeting brought together Arab senior officials including Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, Saudi Arabia´s foreign minister and the United Arab Emirates´ minister of state for foreign affairs.

In a statement released afterwards, the League said it "rejects the US-Israeli ´deal of the century´ considering that it does not meet the minimum rights and aspirations of Palestinian people."

Arab states also vowed "not to ... cooperate with the US administration to implement this plan."

They insisted on a two-state solution that includes a Palestinian state based on borders before the 1967 Six-Day War — when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza — and with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The US plan suggests that Israel would retain control of the contested city of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital" and annex settlements on Palestinian lands.

Trump said Palestinians would be allowed to declare a capital within annexed east Jerusalem.

The only Arab ambassadors present at the plan´s unveiling were from Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates — three of Washington´s closest allies in a region where many nations host US forces.

Other Arab states gave carefully worded initial responses to the plan, which was strongly rejected by Palestinian leaders.

Abbas said on Saturday "there will be no relations" with Israel and the US including on security cooperation following their "disavowal of signed agreements and international legitimacy". Palestinians reject Trump's peace plan

Angry Palestinians have rejected US President Donald Trump's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, who say that the plan was deserving to go in the "dustbin of history."

Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House's East Room, Trump said his plan could succeed where decades of previous US attempts to intervene had failed.

"Together we can bring about a... new dawn in the Middle East," Trump said to an enthusiastic audience that included throngs of Israeli and Jewish American guests — but apparently no Palestinian representatives.

They are flat out rejecting the plan, which grants Israel much of what it has sought in decades of international diplomacy, namely control over Jerusalem as its "undivided" capital, rather than a city to share with the Palestinians. The plan also lets Israel annex West Bank settlements.

These include requiring the future Palestinian state to be "demilitarised," while formalising Israeli sovereignty over settlements built in occupied territory.

Criticising previous US diplomatic efforts as overly vague, Trump noted that his version was 80 pages long and contained a map depicting the proposed future neighboring states.

However, the Palestinians angrily rejected the entire plan.

"This conspiracy deal will not pass. Our people will take it to the dustbin of history," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said.

Trump promised a "contiguous" future Palestinian state, addressing the current situation where Israel controls broad territory separating the two main population centers of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

But the map showed the West Bank remaining riddled with Jewish settlements linked to Israel and only a long road tunnel connecting the area with the seaside Gaza Strip.

The plan makes clear that Israel is free to annex its settlements on Palestinian lands right away.

On the flashpoint issue of Jerusalem, Trump said Israel should retain control over the city as its "undivided capital," Trump said. At the same time, the Palestinians would be allowed to declare a capital within occupied East Jerusalem, he said.

The Hamas movement, which runs the Gaza Strip, said it could never accept compromise on Jerusalem being capital of a future state. -APP/AFP