Photo: AP
Palestinian refugees in Syria
Photo: AP

Compensation plan for Palestinian refugees promoted

Saudi Arabia, US and Israel formulate plan aimed at resolving issue by offering compensation to refugees willing to stay in their countries of residence

Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Israel have recently held secret talks to formulate a new diplomatic-financial initiative aimed at resolving the Palestinian refugee problem, by offering compensation to those willing to stay in their countries of residence.


The negotiations were led by senior American officials, and included Saudi secretary-general of the National Security Council, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, and top Israeli officials.


According to the new initiative, refugees who agreed to remain in their countries of residence would receive financial compensation. Those who insisted on realizing the right of return would only be allowed to return to the Palestinian territories. Their return would be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority, in order to prevent a flood of refugees, and severe economic problems.


At the same time, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the US would finance projects to improve the refugees' quality of life and create more jobs for them. The ambitious plan requires billions of dollars in funding.


Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is boycotting the Arab League summit in Riyadh, is expected to oppose the plan. Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in Libya, and Gaddafi may threaten to deport them should the initiative pass. Syria's stance on the issue is also unclear at present; the country is currently home to over Palestinian 200,000 refugees.


The new plan gives precedence to aiding the 300,000 refugees in Lebanon, whose condition has been defined as "very bad." Jordan, which is home to the greatest number of refugees, more than 1.5 million, and several Emirates, have already agreed to the plan.


פרסום ראשון: 03.28.07, 10:27
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