October 13, 2010

Official Name: League of Arab States’ Follow-Up Committee on the Arab Peace Initiative

Members: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the Secretary General of the Arab League

Origins and Mandate: Members of the Arab League adopted the Arab Peace Initiative at the 2002 Beirut Summit. The document mentioned the need to form a separate, smaller committee to gather support for the plan. Later, two groups were formed to that end: the follow-up committee and a contact group, comprised of Egypt and Jordan, created to gain Israeli support for the plan.

Select important dates of the committee include:

- On July 25, 2007, the Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers visited Israel where they formally presentend the Arab Peace Initiative for the first time.

- Members of the follow-up committee attended the U.S.-hosted Annapolis conference in late November 2007, which re-launched negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

- On March 2, 2010, the committee met and the following the day the full Arab League endorsed a plan for Palestinians to enter into U.S.-mediated proximity talks with Israel, though the talks were delayed because of disputes about Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem. The committee met again on May 1, 2010, and supported the proximity talks, which began on May 9.

- Representatives of the follow-up committee met on July 29, 2010, and agreed to support direct talks between Palestinians and Israelis when the Palestinians deemed the time right.

- On October 8, 2010, the committee supported the Palestinian stance of declining further direct negotiations until the Israeli government extends the settlement moratorium, and said they would meet again in the coming weeks to discuss any new proposals. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, chair of the meeting, denied that there is a one-month deadline.

Subscribe to Middle East Progress Alerts

Support Middle East Progress

In-Depth Coverage

Original Commentaries

Setting the Record Straight

Determined to Reach a Common Objective

“We knew at the outset that the task would be difficult. We acknowledged that publicly and privately. We knew this would be a road with many bumps— and there have been many bumps—and that continues to this day. But we are not deterred. We are, to the contrary, determined more than ever to proceed to realize the common objective, which we all share, of a Middle East that is at peace with security and prosperity for the people of Israel, for Palestinians, and for all the people in the region. We will continue our efforts in that regard, undeterred and undaunted by the difficulties, the complexities or the bumps in the road.”—George Mitchell, special envoy for Middle East peace, remarks with Prime Minister Netanyahu, September 29, 2010

Middle East Analysis

Upcoming Events

The U.S. Agency for International Development and Conflict: Hard Lessons from the Field

May 17, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:15pm

From Afghanistan and Iraq to Pakistan, Somalia, and South Sudan, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, is engaged daily in trying to help some of the most troubled nations on the planet make a lasting transition to stability, open markets, and democracy. Few areas of the agency’s work are more challenging or more controversial.

Join us for remarks by, and a roundtable with, the deputy administrator of USAID, Ambassador