The Regional Meeting on the Middle East

Press Release




World Peace Council and Afro Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization Middle East Regional conference was held on 25th September 2010 at Cairo – Arab Republic of Egypt – attended by peace committees from Sudan, Iraq, Turkey, India, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel (Arab 48), Palestine, Iran, Egypt, Greece and Cyprus.

The conference was held under the title "Peace Movement and The New Middle East". It discussed issues of:

1- The Peace Process in the Middle East and the future of the Palestinian State.
2- Turning the Middle East to a zone free of nuclear and weapons of mass destruction.
3- The Ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
4- The role of peace and solidarity committees in the region in facing the challenges.

The President of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization – Mr. Ahmed Hamrouch inaugurated the Seminar. The Secretary-General – Mr. Nouri Abdul Razzak presented AAPSO speech and the Executive Secretary of World Peace Council – Mr. Iraklis Tsavdaridis presented the Council speech. Also the member of the Secretariat of AAPSO and the Palestinian representative – Ambassador Said Kamal - made a speech on the Palestinian issue “Negotiations and the limited alternatives”
The conference discussed the explosive situation in the region, and the importance of just and comprehensive peace for its peoples in order to achieve stability security, development and prosperity.

Regarding the peace process in the Middle East and the future of the Palestinian state, the participants noticed that the Palestinian issue is suppressed, as Israel is moving in implementing the siege scheme on Gaza Strip, and pressured by all military and non military means to put it in a state of famine on brink of collapse, and the West Bank is threatened by disruption with the more settlements and the racial wall which forms an advanced demarcation to the borders as a de facto, includes a new annexation of Palestinian lands, which contradicts laws including international law, the provocative operation of judaizing Jerusalem and committing war crimes against humanity.

Israel doesn’t make just one gesture reflecting a genuine desire to achieve peace, helping it in this rupture of the Palestinian ranks and the Arab situations as well. That makes the balance unstable to its sake, so, the efforts to achieve the Palestinian reconciliation require support and assistance.

Now, direct negotiations are taking place under endless tensions, noting that the negotiation is one of the means to reach a peaceful solution, but it requires a real balance otherwise it will be derailed from the beginning.

The Palestinian negotiators must find a real support from their people both Arab and from the world public opinion at least to balance the front. They need clear reference around which his negotiations revolve. The terms of reference is the United Nations resolutions: Partition resolutions no. 181, 242 and 1515 which gave the Palestinians their legitimate independent state and defining its borders, the resolution no. 194 regarding refugees, and other resolutions that had been accepted by international bodies for the benefit of the Palestinian cause. The Arab peace initiative which is flexible, realistic and has the desire to achieve peace, Israel so far is neglecting this initiative.

Hence, we support and welcome the Arab Peace Initiative, which needs mobilization of all efforts for its realizations.

The negotiation is an important means for the agreement provided that it is governed with the two parties and uphold sincere wish to reach a solution for the two states.
The peace process in the Middle East is subject, to a large extent, to a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause on the basis of international legitimacy. The continuation of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and other Arab countries is a constant source of tension, violence, instability and conflict.

With regard to Middle East issue on elimination weapons of mass destruction, the participants noticed that the nuclear armament in the region, as well as other mass destruction weapons form an unlimited threat to security and safety to the people of the region.

The possession, of any of the parties, of such weapons constitute a full loss of security, the state that possess this weapon, even if it doesn't use it directly, maintains a huge considerable leverage which makes the balance always in its favour, substantially affect the sovereignty of peoples and their security.

Establishing a nuclear weapons free zone in the Middle East would strengthen regional and international peace and security.

There are many steps that could help to reinvigorate the international non proliferation:

1- Entering all the Middle East countries to the comprehensive nuclear non proliferation treaty and first of these countries is Israel which already has nuclear bombs.
2- Dismantlement of former test sites and fissile material production facilities.
3- Disposal of nuclear materials which are used in weapons industry.
4- Developing new technologies for nuclear fuel cycle.
5- The phasing out of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, and then eliminating them.
6- International investigation with reliable transparent system.
7- Eliminating conclusively of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.

The United Nations, United States of America, Russia and United Kingdom called for holding a regional conference in 2012, in which all regional countries are supposed to share, to establish a nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction free zone in the Middle East.

Also, the Review Conference of Nuclear Non-proliferation affirmed the necessity of Israel’s accession to the Treaty and to allow all its facilities be subjected to comprehensive guard system of International Atomic Energy Agency.

All the participants in the conference expressed their support for these positive and constructive steps.

Regarding the current conflicts in the Middle East, there are conflicts arising from acts of invasion and occupation such as what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, and other disputes arising from internal conflicts between different national factions either on the basis of ethnic or religious as in Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan.

All these disputes, are threaten by using violence, lead to the increase of the trend towards power, spread of chaos and poor living conditions, as development process is almost stagnated and even the economic life is almost paralyze, the poverty spread and aggravated, health and education services are retarded, and problem of water appeared as current and future serious challenge, and peace becomes difficult to be reached.

Existence of occupation forces in the invaded countries and the intractable problems in other countries, block the paths in front of normal democratic development, destroy countries’ natural resources and increase their backwardness and deterioration.

All these require more responsibility on our committees, peace and solidarity, with their actions as non governmental popular organizations and as a part of international civil society to face these challenges to the interest of our people.

Secretary General’s opening speech 25th September 2010




Dear friends and Comrades,

This Middle East Regional Conference of W.P.C. jointly sponsored with AAPSO is an important event taking place at a critical moment in history.

As we all know that Middle East is the only region in the world which has not seen peace almost during the last one hundred years. Peace in this region is indispensable for the peace in the world. It is in this background. AAPSO agreed to the proposal made by W.P.C. to hold this conference.

World Peace Council is one of the oldest peace movements in the world. It was established in 1949 led by world renowned scientists such as Fedrick Juliot Curie, John Bernal J.B.S. Haldane and others. Subsequently an Indian prominent political leader Romech Chandra became the president of W.P.C.

Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Organisation was established in 1958 resulting from the Bandung conference in 1955, in Cairo in a well attended international conference. In this connection we recalled the enormous contribution made to the Afro-Asian Movement by the outstanding leaders of the time Jawharlal Nehru, Dr. Sokerno, Gamal Abdul Nassar and Kwame Nkrumah. The first General Secretary of AAPSO was Yusuf Sibai and after his assassination Abdul Rahman El Sharkawi became the president followed by Dr. Morad Ghaleb and Ahmad Hamrouch.

Ever since founding of World Peace Council and AAPSO, both the movements were closely cooperating each other in all activities. In fact many of the constituent national committees were simultaneously affiliated both to the WPC and AAPSO we both are closely linked. It is in keeping with this historical relationship and tradition, that AAPSO takes great pleasure in organising this very important regional conference in Cairo.

We have made every effort to make you comfortable during your stay in Cairo, and if any short coming we apologise and request kindly to bear with us.

The central issue of recurring tension in the Middle East is the denial of rights of the Palestinian to have their own state. This is a legitimate right recognized by the whole world. Unfortunately owing to the intransigence of Israel which is supported by the U.S. including military hardware; Palestinians continue to suffer in their own land. When the whole of Africa, Asia and Latin America achieved independence, the Palestinians remain the last territory under colonialism of a brutal power armed to teeth and threatening the entire region. It calls itself to be ‘democratic’, but‘ Israeli democracy’, is based on high-handedness and suppressing the legitimacy of Palestinians. It is the most irrational state in the world.

The Israeli and Palestinian sides differ not only on the issues of settlement, borders, Jerusalem, and refugees, but also on the negotiating styles and approach.

The continuation of building settlement in west bank and Jerusalem represent a big threat to the direct negotiation launched in the beginning of September 2010, as the Israelis insists on no renewal of freezing settlement after 26 September 2010.

This situation reveals the adamant attitude of the Israeli government, like a time bomb which can explode the negotiation, at any time. The Palestinian can’t continue in negotiation while the Israeli government continue building settlement in the west bank. So 26 September 2010 will be a critical test to the Israeli intensions towards the negotiation, and the peace process.
It is notable that Sharm El Sheikh round is the first round of actual direct negotiation, it is a playoff round as it take place before the deadline of the settlement on 26 September 2010.
It is to be mentioned here what distinguishes this negotiation is schedule for final agreement within one year as president Obama insisted on the importance of the Palestinian state to U.S. national security.

The Peace process in the Middle East can see the light under several condition such as:-
Ending the feud between Fatah and Hamas, is a necessary criteria in order to achieve peace.
Display of Sincerity of intentions between the Israeli and Palestinian parties in this direct talks has to be substantiated.
A comprehensive regional peace between Israel and the Arab as a whole are stipulated by The Arab Peace initiative.

Israel must accept that the principle of land for peace is the real foundation for peace to both sides including a just solutions to the issues as refugees, Jerusalem, borders and security. This is the only way to achieve peace.
And when we talk about the Middle East Nuclear free zone, free from the weapons of mass destruction, we are guided by the resolution - emanating from NPT review conference 2010 - on the establishment of a Middle East nuclear free zone and of all other weapons of mass destruction.

The nuclear weapons states committed in this conference to undertake further efforts to reduce all types of nuclear weapons and called for a conference on the establishment of a Middle East free zone of nuclear weapons in 2012.
The most significant point in this final declaration of 2010 NPT conference is that United States agreed calling on Israel to join NPT.

The UN, United states, Russia, UK call for regional conference in 2012 supposed to participate in it all countries in the region lead to establish free zone of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East Zone.
The conference reaffirm the importance of the non proliferation treaty, the necessity of its full implementation.

The conference affirmed the necessity of Israel to submit all its nuclear facilities under the comprehensive safeguards of International Atomic Energy Agency.
Arrogance and irritable Policy exercised by Israel on the International Community since its establishment, and especially in recent, made it as a burden not only on the international community but also on its allies.

One of the gravest problems in the Middle East is the frequent realignment of forces. This has further intensified with external interference. This is what we see in many countries in the Middle East. There is no country in the Middle East perhaps without conflicts. The western powers were more interested in the Middle East owing to the controlling of petroleum. But in future there is a possibility of these countries to fight for water. The rivers in the region crosses state boundaries. Therefore water resources certainly will be a bone of contention. Turkey, Syria and Iraq have their problems with Tigris and Euprates. River Nile flows through over 9 countries and there is already some element of tension.

As we all know, the Middle East is sitting on a “volcano” All the countries of the region are embroiled in conflict. These conflicts are intrinsically connected and often spread over to the neighbouring countries. The most tragic consequence of this situation was the U.S. invasion of Iraq. This has created more monsters than resolving any. The stalemate in forming a government even after six-months of holding election pauses danger to the country’s stability and smooth functioning.

Historically, the Arab World and the countries in the region have made enormous contribution to the civilization of the world. But these positive achievements have been destroyed by the imperialists conquests and continued rule by vested interest. There fore the peoples aspiration for a better governments has yet to be seen. Since we have representatives from almost all the countries in the region, it is there responsibility to work together by cooperating with all for a better tomorrow.

The above conflicts, contradiction, and rivalries, so long remain amicably not settled, Middle East cannot have stability and peace. Both the World Peace Council and AAPSO have a great responsibility to bring all the communities together. This is the historical responsibility of our movements. This regional conference no doubt will be a great step in this direction.

Thanking for your attention

Negotiations and the Limited Options



The historic conflict with Israel has entered, with the start of direct negotiations, to the stage of the limited options.

Option per item

Perhaps a lot of Palestinians and Arabs support negotiations and direct negotiations at a time many would consider them a way to escape from their obligations to the people and the Palestinian cause.
It took from us a long period that lasted nearly 18 years starting from negotiations of Madrid Conference for peace, following by the Washington negotiations, and the negotiations on the Implementation of the Oslo Accords and Camp David in order to discover the extent of the Israeli procrastination, which was received U.S sympathy. As for the current negotiations, which we are today in question since September 2, 2010, they put the Palestinians in the framework of the one option after the options were many, various, and even open to conflict with the state of the Israeli occupation. We can now describe the agreements reached to as the following:

1 – Oslo Accords did not achieve the establishment of the Palestinian state, but created a torn entity based on a political project, which disrupted the establishment of the Palestinian state and created a state of division within the Palestinian community.

2 - The agreements signed between the Palestinians and Israelis have remarkably changed the Palestinian political system that led to the creation of a Palestinian Authority based on the local administration that though manages its own affairs, but relates to limited agreements under the cover the PLO the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

3 - The option of the negotiations was not acceptable being the only way to restore the rights of the Palestinian people under the evading of Israel from the obligations of the agreements signed with the Palestinians, and the option of armed resistance needs to balance the forces in favor of the Palestinians.

4 - The peace process dedicated the subordination of the Palestinian Authority to the Israelis in the fields of economic and security.

5 - The agreements signed between the two sides led to restrain the Palestinian economy that made it subject to the fluctuations and changes in the interest of the Israelis at the expense of the Palestinian economy.

Obama's speech at the University of Cairo in June 4, 2009 was an encouraging sign for some sectors of the Arab and Palestinian, while at the same time other sectors were skeptical of the will of President Obama and the effectiveness of his new administration. This is due to the strength and organization of the Zionist lobby in America.

The evidence of the first trend that advocates the American policy was associated with seeking a peaceful settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis (as it related to the higher interests and the national security of the United States of America) as expressed by the leaders of the current U.S. administration, who found that the mechanism for that was to reach a solution based on the two-state (State of Palestine - State Israel), while the other trend revisionists of the current American politics saw that the strength of the Zionist lobby supporting for the current Israeli government would be emptied the content of the above-mentioned content.

This fall depends on the course of the current peace process that will be either the fall of peace or the fall of political and diplomatic confrontation against Israel in the yard of the United Nations and UN Security Council.

Arab trend has emerged supporting the position of President Obama, who insists on the continuation of freezing settlement and stopping it in the future in order to establish a Palestinian state on land occupied in 67, also he insists that Jerusalem is one of the permanent status issues on the list of the final negotiations and an agreed solution should be found between the two sides. Mohammed Hosni Mubarak, President of Egypt said, in a speech at the opening of peace negotiations in Washington on 2 / 9, that Jerusalem is the capital of both Israelis and Palestinians. On the second day Barak, the Israeli Defense Minister, spoke more broadly saying that as a quarter of a million Palestinians are living in Jerusalem neighborhoods, it is considered the capital of the Palestinian State, while the aim of the annexation of the settlements in the vicinity of East Jerusalem to West Jerusalem (with the exchange of land equal in number and value) is to be the capital of the Israeli state, then he stated that there must be a special regime of holy places.

In this context, the use of Israel of the Iranian nuclear issue as a pretext for not fulfilling the obligations of peace must be aborted.

As for the Arab position that has emerged in the Arab Summit held in Libya in March 2010 in city of Sirte, it proposed convening another summit in the fall to assess Israel's behavior during the months in which direct negotiations was held. Leaders at the summit agreed that if it happened that Israel breached the fulfillment of the benefits of peace There would be an Arab positive direction with the behavior of Israel.

Through this conference, and all the relevant Arab conferences, leadership of the PLO and its Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Abu Mazen were careful not to act only under the cover of the Arab side and its recommendations (either follow-up committee or the Arab Peace Initiative committee) at the level of Foreign Ministers.

Another Arab trend has appeared confirming that in case Israel continued to be obstinate adhering to the policy of imposing de facto, Arab leaders will go to the UN Security Council to declare an independent Palestinian state affirmed by the UN Security Council Resolution 1515, dated 9/11/2003, which emphasized the Council's vision of coexistence of the two states (Israel and Palestine) side by side within secure and recognized borders.

And finally:

The claim of the current government headed by Netanyahu that the solution is to keep the situation as it is in the Palestinian territories (security, economy) is like a time bomb that could explode at any time.

The above-mentioned analysis containing the limited options confirms its weakness and strength to the Palestinian side if the split continues, therefore, the salvation of this split is the responsibility of Hamas movement as follows:

1 - To sign an Egyptian reconciliation paper signed by the Fatah movement in the framework of broad Palestinian sectors supporting it.

2 - To respect the agreements signed by the Palestine Liberation Organization as an introduction to the following:

A - Understanding the structural adjustment of the Palestine Liberation Organization as was decided in Egypt.

B - Hamas's participation in the senior leadership in the PLO and its choice to engage in peace negotiations would strengthen the Palestinian negotiator in the quest to establish a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to resolving the refugee problem in accordance with Resolution 194 and this was confirmed by Hamas in all its previous statements.

C - To support the Arab peace initiative, especially after the decision became a collective Arab decision aimed at the official Arab struggle to secure the withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem, as well as the withdrawal from the Syrian Arab Golan to the limits of 67 and the rest of the Lebanese Shebaa Farms. In return of this comprehensive withdrawal, Arab is committed to normalize relations with Israel and we believe that this Arab initiative must take its range of research and support in the framework of civil society organizations, rather than confining it only to the official Arab support, especially that the positive signals for the initiative started to appear in various international arenas.

Ambassador Said Kamal
The representative of Palestine
in Afro-Asian People's Solidarity the Organization

The Regional Meeting on the Middle East

Paper Presented by Amb. Said Kamal

Speech of Mr. Nouri Abdul Razzak

Press Release