In view of the current critical phase of the Middle East peace process, the Arab leaders met to consider the developments in the region, and revive, enhance and intensify joint Arab action. Arab consultations, co-ordination and co-operation to rekindle the spirit of Arab unity. They aim to recover the rights of the Arab nation, to protect its interests and enhance the efforts at achieving peace in the Middle East.

The leaders reaffirmed that in order to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, Israel should fully withdraw from all the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem; enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and establish their independent state with Jerusalem as the capital: fully withdraw from the Syrian Golan Height: and fully and unconditionally withdraw from Southern Lebanon and its Western Bekato to the internationally recognised boundaries, in co-operation with security council resolutions and the principle of land-for-peace.

The determination of the Arab states to uphold and continue the peace process in order to achieve a comprehensive peace based on international legitimacy is a strategic decision. This determination requires that Israel undertake an unequivocal reciprocal commitment, and continue the peace process so as to restore Palestinian rights and return the Arab occupied territories, as well as ensuring balanced and equal security in the region, consistent with the principles agreed of at the Madrid conference, and particularly, the reciprocal principle/land-for-peace, and the assurances given to all parties. The Arab leaders affirm that if Israel deviates from the principles of the peace process, or retreats from its commitments, promises and agreements reached in the peace process or procrastinates in implementing them, this will lead to a setback to the peace process, resulting in the resumption of tension in the region and compel all the Arab states to reconsider steps taken in the context of the peace process.

The Arab leaders further reaffirm their upholding of the resolutions, upon which international legitimacy is based, which stipulate non-recognition or acceptance of any situation resulting from the Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Arab territories. They further reaffinn that just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East can only be achieved by resolving the question of Jerusalem and settling the Palestinian refugee problem.

With a view to bringing the peace process to a successful conclusion, the Arab leaders call on the sponsors of the peace process, the EU, Japan, the Non-Aligned Movement, other concerned states, the UN and international organisations and institutions to ensure that Israel remain committed to the principles of the peace process, honour all its undertakings, based on international legitimacy obligations under the agreements concluded in the interim phase and with regard to issues to be dealt with in the permanent status negotiations. The leaders also called upon them to continue providing political and economic support to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA). In this connection, the Arab leaders affirmed the need to end the closure imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people.

OTHER ISSUES

Lebanon. The Arab leaders affirmed their support for Lebanon, which faces constant Israeli attacks against its territory, people and sovereignty. They urged the international community to ensure a halt to these attacks, an end to the occupation and that Israel should pay compensation to Lebanon for all damages entailed.

Nuclear weapons. The Arab leaders affirmed that Israel should conform to the Treaty on Nuclear Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and place all its nuclear installations under the international inspection regime of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They also reiterated their call for the establishment of the Middle East as a zone free from weapons of mass destruction.

The Arab leaders affirm their determination to reinforce Arab solidarity as the means to achieving the objectives of joint Arab action, based on respect for the cardinal principles of the Arab order. They affirmed that ensuring Arab security, in its comprehensive sense, is the most effective means to protecting the integrity and interests of the Arab nation.

Economic Integration. In light of common Arab interests and the recent international trend towards larger economic groupings, the Arab leaders affirm that the ability of Arab states to enhance their role and participation at the international level, requires the enhancement of Arab economic development, the revitalisation of joint Arab economic institutions and the implementation of their resolutions. Accordingly, the Arab leaders instructed the Arab League Council, together with the Economic & Social Council of the league to develop and implement integrated economic and social strategies and plans of action, that would enable the Arab nation to promote its economic interests and enable it to stand on an equal footing with other partners in the present world economic order.

Bahrain. The Arab leaders express their solidarity with the state of Bahrain and their full support for measures taken to ensure its stability and security. They call on Iran to respect the sovereignty of Bahrain, in the context of mutual respect and good neighbourliness in order to prevent sabotage in Bahrain and to ensure peace and stability in the region.

Gulf Islands. The Arab leaders affirm the sovereignty of the United Arab Emirates over its three islands, Greater Tunb, Smaller Tunb and Abou Moussa, and express their full support for all peaceful measures taken to restore its sovereignty over these islands, and put an end to the occupations by Iran.

Turkey. The Arab leaders expressed their hope for the continuation of the Turkish-Arab relations and common interests. However, they express their concern at the Israeli-Turkish agreement and call on Turkey to reconsider this agreement.

Iraq. The Arab leaders emphasise the need to uphold the unity of Iraq and oppose any policy or measure that affects its territorial integrity, or threatens its borders and national unity. They urge the Iraqi government to refrain from any aggressive policy that would provoke its Arab neighbours and to continue to implement all the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They welcome the agreement between Iraq and the UN to implement Resolution 986 as a positive step towards easing the suffering of the Iraqi people.

Yemen and Eritrea. The Arab leaders welcomed the agreement of principles, signed by the governments of Yemen and Eritrea, and their resumption of the peaceful relations.

Libya. The leaders express their deep concern at the human and material damages inflicted on the Libyan people and call on the Western states to accept the proposal submitted by the Arab League to hold a neutral and fair trial in The Hague.

Somalia. The Arab leaders express their concern at the continued deterioration of the situation in Somalia and call on the leaders of the Somali factions to assume their responsibilities to achieve national reconciliation, resolve their differences and form a national authority that would represent all groups of the Somali people.

Terrorism. While the Arab leaders deplore all attempts to label legitimate national resistance as terrorism, they condemn all forms of terrorism and acts of sabotage and disruption designed to destabilize a number of states, including Arab states. They express their support for these states.

Floods in Yemen. The Arab leaders presented their condolences to the people of Yemen, after the damages caused by the floods, the deaths and destruction of houses and infrastructure. They affirmed their support for Yemen and urged specialised international organisations to forward all forms of assistance and support.