First Published: 2012-12-09


Qatar cooks up new plans for peace to replace Arab initiative


Abbas tells meeting in Doha that he is opposed to Qatari plans, warning that they could lead to regional conflict.


Middle East Online

New roadmap?

DOHA - Qatar called Sunday at an Arab League ministerial meeting for a rethink of an Arab offer of normal ties with Israel in return for its pullout from occupied land and branded the international Quartet a failure.

"It is logical after 10 years to objectively reconsider the peace process, including the Arab initiative," said Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani, the country's prime minister.

He called for a "thorough look into developments in the region and the world, and to decide carefully on our future steps and roadmap."

Sheikh Hamad, who heads an Arab League follow-up committee, said the initiative tabled in 2002 by Saudi Arabia and endorsed by the Arab League "will not be on offer forever."

The League has proposed a normalisation with Israel in return for its pullout from occupied lands, notably the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, for his part, told the meeting in Doha that he was opposed to a withdrawal of the offer, warning that it could lead to regional conflict.

"It is not permissible to talk about sidelining the Arab peace initiative. It should stay," he said. "It is a very important initiative, and I hope that we would not every time talk about shelving it, because that would mean war.

"Are we ready for war? Personally, I say I am not," he added.

The Qatari premier also criticised the diplomatic Quartet for Middle East peace comprising Washington, Moscow, Brussels and the UN which he said had "proven to be a failure and unable to make any achievements."

He called for a "reevaluation of its performance."


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