Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat met Sunday with foreign ministers of seven Non-Aligned countries at his West Bank town of Ramallah headquarters as part of the world efforts to end the ongoing violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
Arafat said at a joint news conference after the meeting with the foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Jordan and South Africa that he and the Palestinian people are committed to peace.
"Despite what the crimes were against our people who are facing a suffocating siege, and all other crimes committed against our Christian and Islamic sites, we still believe in the peace of the braves," said Arafat.
The seven top diplomats arrived in Ramallah by several Jordanian helicopters, which landed near the headquarters compound, also known as Al Muqataa that Israel had besieged several times over the last five months.
Arafat briefed the diplomats on the latest developments on the ground in relation to the continued Israeli incursions into the West Bank, as well as the reforms that Arafat is intending to make in the Palestinian National Authority in the coming days.
"I tell you that our people, who face all those crimes and who believe in peace of the braves are strong, are in a high mood and no one can defeat them or break them," said Arafat.
The foreign ministers told Arafat that they support Saudi Arabia's peace initiative the Prince Crown Abdullah Ibn Abdul-Aziz brought to the United States two months ago to solve the conflict between Israel and the Arabs.
The Saudi peace initiative calls for the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab lands that the Jewish state occupied during the 1967 Middle East war in exchange for the normalization of relations with Arab states.
The peace plan has been adopted as the Arab peace initiative at the Arab summit held in the Lebanese capital of Beirut in late March.
The seven top diplomats said that they came to show support to the Palestinian National Authority and its President Arafat in its determination to end the Israeli occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state.
(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2002)