Israel 'must commit to peace'

2009-05-26 06:52

Damascus - Muslim countries meeting in the Syrian capital criticised Israel on Monday but said they were open to better ties with the Jewish state if it took steps towards a "just and comprehensive" Middle East peace deal.

"We must not reward Israel for its crimes," said a statement issued at the end of the three-day meeting of Foreign Ministers of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

"It should be affirmed that any progress on ties must be linked to how much the Israeli position represents a commitment to a just and comprehensive peace that guarantees the restoration of rights and occupied land."

US President Barack Obama is to address the Muslim world on June 4 from Cairo, a seat of Islamic learning. Egypt is one of only two Arab countries to have signed a formal peace treaty with Israel.

Ties weak

The other is Jordan whose monarch, King Abdallah, said Obama was formulating a Middle East peace plan that could involve normalisation of ties between Israel and the whole Muslim world.

Ties between Israel and Muslim countries are mostly weak, the exceptions including Turkey, a secular but predominantly Muslim country that has military links with the Jewish state.

Syria, which supports the Palestinian group Hamas and the Lebanese movement Hezbollah, is a self-declared champion of "resistance" to Israel's occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory.

The OIC said this concept was distinct from terrorism.

"Terrorism is a dangerous global phenomenon, but this does not mean that we should allow it to be used to confuse issues and describe resistance as terrorism," the statement said.

The Damascus government is trying to enhance its regional position as it talks with the United States after several years of isolation. It touted the OIC meeting as a diplomatic triumph although the foreign minister of Egypt did not attend.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem urged OIC members to honour the communique and said Syria would not resume its own peace talks with Israel unless the Jewish state abided by UN resolutions which, in Syria's view, commits Israel to withdraw fully from the Golan Heights.

Seven-year-old peace initiative

Moualem cautioned that a Middle East peace conference being advocated by Russia would not result in any breakthrough if Israel did not clearly accept a seven-year-old Arab peace initiative that offers it normalisation of ties in return for full withdrawal from occupied Arab land.

"What is the point of such a conference if Israel does not commit to the international references for peace?" he said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the conference with Syrian officials and met Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal separately in Damascus.

A statement from Hamas said Lavrov told the group that Russia hoped the Palestinians, split between Hamas and the Fatah faction of President Mahmoud Abbas, would be represented by one delegation at the proposed Middle East peace conference.

Russia had hoped to hold the conference last year. Israel and Hamas were cool to the idea, in Hamas's case partly because the Palestinians would have been represented by Abbas.

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Numsa prepares for life after Cosatu

Numsa has not only reiterated its call for President Jacob Zuma to resign but it is also preparing for life outside of Cosatu, a report states.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Tab P7500 10.1" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 gives you a better experience for...

From R4999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.