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The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Cairo
"The Palestinians may delay their planned declaration of statehood"
 real 28k

Monday, 4 September, 2000, 20:11 GMT 21:11 UK
Arab League warns on Jerusalem
Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Cairo
The Arab League has backed Arafat over Jerusalem
Member-countries of the Arab League have said that, until Israel makes peace with the Palestinians, they will break off relations with any state that recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

The international community has never accepted Israeli declarations that its capital is Jerusalem and governments have instead located their embassies in Tel Aviv.

view of Jerusalem
Jerusalem is not recognised internationally as Israel's capital
However, President Clinton said two months ago that he was considering moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem and would review the matter at the end of the year.

The statement, made at the Arab League meeting in Cairo, coincides with reports of new efforts to revive the peace process.

Stumbling block

In Cairo, the Arab foreign ministers reaffirmed that they were committed to peace but were supporting Yasser Arafat's position that peace could only be sealed when Israel agreed to Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

Map of Jerusalem
The status of the city was the main stumbling block in the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks held under US mediation at Camp David in July.

There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at reviving the talks ahead of 13 September, the deadline set by the Palestinians and Israel to solve all outstanding disputes

Morocco meeting

The acting Israeli Foreign Minister, Shlomo Ben Ami, is reported to have had talks on the peace process in Morocco on Monday.

Israel radio said that Mr Ben Ami paid a secret visit during which he met King Mohamed and the Foreign Minister, Mohamed Benaissa, in the southern city of Agadir.

The talks come days before the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are due to have separate meetings with President Clinton in New York.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official has indicated that it is unlikely that statehood will be declared, as planned, next week.

The head of the PLO's political department, Faruq Qaddumi, said 13 September was not a sacred date, and that as long as peace negotiations were continuing he did not think there would be a declaration then.

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See also:

02 Sep 00 | Middle East
Egyptian warning over Jerusalem
30 Aug 00 | Middle East
Mayor backs 'God's Jerusalem'
29 Aug 00 | Middle East
Clinton meets Mubarak as deadline looms
20 Jul 00 | Middle East
Analysis: A faltering peace
17 Jul 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Paying for peace
25 Jul 00 | Middle East
Camp David timeline
20 Jul 00 | Mideast Peace Process
Jerusalem: Eternal, intractable
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