Algeria Summit urges joint Arab action on economy, security, Palestinian crisis
The Arab Summit concluded here on Wednesday evening with the adoption of a joint statement in which Arab leaders stressed the need to enhance coordinated work on the economy, as well as to accelerate steps to ensure national security and resolve the Palestinian crisis.
The statement, issued at the end of the 31st Ordinary Session of the Arab League Summit, referred to the centrality of the Palestinian cause, protecting national security through the rejection of foreign interference, in addition to the reform drive of the Arab League.
Dubbed the "Algeria Declaration", it also noted the Kuwaiti political leadership’s "endeavors and efforts" with the aim of achieving Arab and Gulf solidarity.
The centrality of the Palestinian cause was highlighted, while pledging "absolute" support for the "inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to freedom and self-determination." It also pledged commitment to endeavors aimed at granting independent statehood to Palestine, with full sovereignty, according to the 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Also, the summit underscored the right of return and compensation for Palestinian refugees, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly Resolution No. 194 of 1948, and for Israel to lift its siege off Gaza. The leaders renewed their adherence to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative with all its elements and priorities, and their commitment to a just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option to end the Israeli occupation of all Arab lands, including the Syrian Golan Heights, Shebaa Farms and the Lebanese Kafr Shuba Hills.
It urged the need to maintain efforts to protect the occupied city of Jerusalem and its holy sites in the face of rejected attempts by the occupation to change its demographics. They condemned Israel’s use of force as an occupying power against the Palestinians and its barbaric practices, including assassinations and arbitrary arrests, calling for the release of all prisoners and detainees, particularly children, women, the sick, and the elderly. Leaders also agreed they would push to grant Palestine full United Nations membership.
On Libya, the summit statement expressed full solidarity with the people and support for efforts aimed at ending this crisis through an internal solution that preserves the country’s unity and sovereignty, preserves its own security, and the security of its neighbors, and achieves the aspirations of its people ahead of elections, as soon as possible.
It expressed support for efforts to reach a political solution to the crises in both Yemen and Syria, in a manner that ensures their security, stability, and sovereignty.
It praised Iraq's efforts to hold successful elections and hoped Lebanon would complete the election of a new president. On integration, the statement urged member countries to work towards a free trade zone, with the aspiration of creating a free trade union someday. The leaders also stressed the importance of cooperative mechanisms to boost collective capabilities in response to challenges posed to food, health, and energy security alongside climate change.