BEIRUT (Sputnik) — Arab countries have done a lot under the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and are now waiting for reciprocal steps from Israel, Fayez Al Shawabkah, the secretary general of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union, told Sputnik.
Al Shawabkah recalled that only Jordan and Egypt had concluded peace treaties with Israel, which signed the Oslo Accords with the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the 1990s.
"Against the background of these agreements, there is the problem of the Arab peoples, who still believe that their rights and lands have been appropriated, the rights of the Palestinian people have not been recognised, and that Israel violates the rights of the Palestinians on a daily basis. As for the Arab peace initiative launched at the Arab League’s summit in Beirut in 2002, the Arab side has done a lot and expects the Israeli response to this initiative through the respect for international resolutions and recognition that they occupied the land belonging to others," Al Shawabkah said.
According to the Arab Peace Initiative, Israel should recognise a sovereign Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem and provide a solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees.
When asked to comment on the the normalisation process, Al Shawabkah noted that no Arab state had officially launched it, adding that "each state has its own interests and the right to protect them."
Israel and Palestine have been locked in border and sovereignty disputes for several decades. Currently, Palestine is seeking independence and wants to establish East Jerusalem as its capital.
Palestine remains only partially recognised as a state and claims the territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.