News / Middle East

Arab League Summit Concludes Amid More Criticism of Israel

TEXT SIZE - +

The 22nd annual summit of Arab leaders drew to a close with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa warning that Arab-Israeli peace talks are "approaching the end of their rope."

Arab leaders cut short their annual summit, making no lengthy statements and downplaying differences of opinion.  

Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa noted that the closed-door session had focused on the Arab-Israeli conflict, developments in Sudan and inter-Arab cooperation.

In a news conference, the normally mild-mannered Moussa employed unusually critical language to describe the Arab-Israeli peace process.  He told journalists in Arabic the peace process "is approaching the end of its rope," before calling it a "vicious circle."

"We cannot enter into another vicious circle to be added to the previous hundreds of vicious circles that would end at a zero result and then get some more suggestions about a new process.  We are fed up with this - really fed up with this," he said.

Moussa gave no concrete indication of what Arab leaders were prepared to do if peace talks were to fail, but put the responsibility on Israel to "change its behavior" in Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories.

"The ball is in the Israeli court, now.  We are waiting to see whether they are serious," he added.  "If they are serious, they have to stop all the procedures, all the practices, that they are following in Jerusalem.  If they are serious, they have to deal with the situation in the Occupied Territories in a different way. If they are serious, we are serious."

Arab leaders are apparently divided over how to approach the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Jazeera TV reported that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas exchanged harsh words over the Palestinian resistance during the closed door session.

There also appeared to be a difference of opinion among Arab monarchs and heads of state over how to deal with Iran.  Amr Moussa downplayed his statements at Saturday's session that the Arab League is ready to include Iran in regional organizations, but left the door open to dialogue:

"Pertaining to Iran, we will continue to discuss the possibilities of a dialogue," he said.  "We need some more consultations.  There are some different opinions, but the issue is on the table."

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal told journalists that improving Arab relations with Iran must be tied to a change in Tehran's behavior.

He says he agrees with the prevailing opinion that it is not the time for including Iran in regional organizations.   He says it is time for Iran to change its behavior toward the Arab states.

Secretary General Moussa offered an olive branch to Tehran, saying "Iran is not our enemy, but a fraternal state."  But he emphasized that Shi'ite-Sunni sectarian strife in Iraq has dangerous consequences and "could last for hundreds of years."

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid