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Jordan and Egypt back renewed Arab peace drive

Written by: Staff

AMMAN, Sep 10 (Reuters) Jordan's King Abdullah and Egyptian President President Hosni Mubarak today urged the international community to work for a speedy resumption of Middle East peace talks, officials said.

They said both leaders agreed at a brief summit talks in Amman that an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict could only come about by a comprehensive settlement based on past UN resolutions as well as on the basis of land for peace.

''There is a need to bring back the two sides to the negotiating table at the earliest time on a basis that guarantees the rights of Palestinians and a respect for past resolutions of international legitimacy,'' said a palace statement at the end of their talks.

The two pro-US allies, Egypt and Jordan, also discussed an Arab peace plan they have helped draft to refer the Arab-Israeli conflict back to the UN Security Council when it is heard in New York later this month.

''Unilateral approaches have proved their failure in dealing with the issues and there cannot be an alternative to comprehensive solutions,'' the two leaders said in the statement.

Egypt and Jordan along with their ally Saudi Arabia had concluded that international efforts to resuscitate the stalled peace process had failed and a new approach was needed, officials say.

The new Arab peace plan seeks to benefit from the political fallout of Israel's 34-day war against Lebanon to push the international community to reshape the West Aisa peace process, officials say.

''A unified Arab stance that supports the Palestinians and ensures their rights in a just solution for the Palestinian cause is critical,'' the two leaders said, referring to the new peace proposal.

Negotiations have been almost completely on hold since Hamas, an Islamist militant group, came to power in the Palestinian territories earlier this year, after defeating Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's more moderate Fatah movement in elections in January.


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