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Kuwait''s Foreign Minister affirms Arabs'' adherence to basic principles
January 12, 2014, 9:38 am

Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah affirmed Arab states' commitment to basic principles regarding US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Arab states' stance with respect of the dialogue regarding the Palestinian cause is based on "Arab references and unwavering principles" that had been agreed upon during the Arab ministerial extraordinary session, recently held in Cairo -- with attendance of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled in remarks to KUNA and Kuwait TV.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled indicated that he and his Arab counterparts, during a coordination meeting held late on Saturday, addressed "this issue from various aspects." Last night's session was held as a prelude to the planned broad meeting, due to group the ministers, Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al-Araby with US Secretary of State John Kerry, in the French capital later on Sunday.
The official meeting between the Arab ministers and Kerry will be held within framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, aimed reaching a viable settlement to the protracted Middle East crisis.

The Kuwaiti minister affirmed significance of the scheduled meeting with Kerry, saying it would be aimed at examining results of the negotiating process and ensuring it would remain proceeding in the right direction. Kerry has been engaged in a shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, seeking to narrow the gap between the Israelis and Palestinians, at loggerheads over various and major issues, such as future status of Jerusalem, borders' demarcation, water-sharing and destiny of Palestinians in diaspora.

The Arab Peace Initiative is a comprehensive peace plan, first proposed in 2002 at the Beirut Summit of the Arab League by then-Crown Prince, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, and re-endorsed at the Riyadh Summit in 2007. It essentially envisages Israel's complete withdrawal from the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, and a just settlement of the Palestinian refugee crisis, based on UN Resolution 194. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled praised Kerry's efforts that has exerted since the two sides sat again at the negotiating table in July, noting that the Arab side would emphasize during the meeting with necessity that the process must "lead to tangible outcomes," along with the adherence to the negotiations' timetable, set by Washington in late April.

"The negotiations are difficult and there is an accumulation of complexities however we must insist on our stances and basic principles despite the obstacles that have placed by Israel," the Kuwaiti Deputy Premier added in the remarks to KUNA and Kuwait TV, on sidelines of the meetings, hosted by Paris.

Regarding his meeting with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, held late on Saturday, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled described the talks with the French official as constructive, while hailing the distinctive French-Kuwaiti relations. The discussions dealt with bilateral affairs, cooperation between the two friendly countries in various spheres, regional issues and topics of common concern, he added.
France, as a member of the Security Council, plays an influential role in the region security and stability, in addition to following up on all matters that concern the two sides with respect of the regional and global security and stability.

The Saturday Kuwaiti-French talks tackled means of cementing the bilateral relations, tragic conditions in Syria, matters related to the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, due in Kuwait on January 15, and the Geneva-II conference, scheduled on January 22.

Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled is heading the Kuwaiti delegation at the broad meeting with Kerry, due to be held later on Sunday.
The Kuwaiti delegation includes the director of Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled's bureau, Sheikh Dr. Ambassador Ahmad Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Director of the Arab Department Abdulhameed Al-Failakawi, the permanent delegate at the Arab League Ambassador Aziz Al-Dihani and other senior ministry officials.

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