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More than words please

Jan 16,2019 - Last updated at Jan 16,2019

Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi discussed in Amman on Saturday with Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's (PLO) executive committee, ways and means to break the deadlock in the peace talks with Israel, and breathe some life into the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

So what is new in these discussions, one may ask, that are often repeated without ending in some results that can be seen or realised? Efforts to solve the Palestinian crisis in all its dimensions have been going on for years, if not decades, without culminating in a well-defined roadmap that is practical and action oriented.

The Palestinian people know by heart by now that there is a stalemate in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian side, and they want to know what else can be done in a practical way to solve the deadlock.

We have understood by now that the two-state solution, envisaging the creation of a free and independent Palestinian state on Palestinian soil in the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital, offers the only practical solution and is a forgone conclusion from the Arab point of view.

Safadi also discussed with Erekat, who is also the chief negotiator of the Palestinian Authority, other related issues, including the future of UNRWA, which continues to face political and financial difficulties, spearheaded by US President Donald Trump, despite the success of the efforts to restore most of the financial support to it. Of course, the two sides reiterated the solemn declaration that the future of Jerusalem is a red line that Israel should not trespass on with impunity.

Once again, there was nothing new or spectacular in such a policy declaration, at a time when what is urgently needed is more than words. The resurrection of peace talks with Israel on all issues, including the future of East Jerusalem, requires a well-articulated plan of action that can be endorsed by the upcoming Arab summit in Tunis next March to translate the noble aspirations expressed by Safadi and Erekat into deeds.

Time has long passed when the Arab world can be satisfied with the expression of pious or lofty ideas on the Palestinian problem and urgently seek the adoption of an action-oriented formula that can give practical expression to these good ideas.

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