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JewishJournal.com

April 30, 2013

Arab League agrees to peace with land swaps

http://www.jewishjournal.com/world/article/arab_league_agrees_to_peace_with_land_swaps

Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a joint statement after a multilateral meeting with the Arab League delegation at the Blair House in Washington, D.C., on April 29. Photo by State Department.

Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a joint statement after a multilateral meeting with the Arab League delegation at the Blair House in Washington, D.C., on April 29. Photo by State Department.

The Arab League agreed to a Middle East peace plan that would allow for agreed-upon land swaps.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, speaking on behalf of the Arab League, said Monday during a visit to Washington that the Arab countries favor a peace deal based on the 1967 borders, but would agree to "comparable" and "minor" land swaps on which the two sides agree.

The Arab League delegation met with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has visited the Middle East three times since taking his post.

"On behalf of the president, I reaffirmed, as did the vice president, the U.S. commitment to pursue an end to the conflict based on the vision that President Obama outlined in May of 2011: Two states living side by side in peace and security brought about through direct negotiations between the parties," Kerry said following his meeting with the Arab League delegation.

Kerry has been working with the Arabs and Israelis to accept a modified version of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative offering Israel a comprehensive peace with the Arab countries in exchange for all land captured in 1967. Saudi Arabia introduced the initiative, which was accepted by the Arab League.

Israeli officials declined to immediately comment on the Arab League's stance, according to The Associated Press.

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