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S.Arabia to USA: Arab Plan Still Valid

By Prensa Latina,

Riyadh : The government of Saudi Arabia defended on Sunday the validity of the so-called Arab Peace Initiative during talks with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, according to official media.

According to SPA news agency, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz received Mitchell, who also met with Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal after arriving from Jordan yesterday night.

The Saudi king and Mitchell examined the viability of the Riyadh-promoted initiative also adopted by other Arab countries during the regional summit in Beirut in 2002, as well as a permanent ceasefire in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia, an influential Middle East country seen as a US ally, favors dialogue and the recognition of Israel in exchange for the Israeli devolution of Arab territories occupied during the Six-Day War in 1967, including the Palestinian.

Mitchell and Al-Faisal highlighted the importance to step up the Middle East peace process (currently on a standstill) to achieve “a contiguous, independent, viable Palestinian state.”

The US envoy wound up in Riyadh a regional tour also including Egypt, the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, where Jewish authorities put forward a draft territorial structure for the future Palestinian state.

Mitchell has insisted on the need to adopt a permanent ceasefire to replace the current provisional one declared unilaterally on January 18, but is leaving the region without getting any strong guarantee in this regard.