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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 September 1997
DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO THE MIDDLE EAST
PEACE PROCESS




Issue 12 * September 1997



Statement by the United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on arrival for her tour of the Middle East
Jerusalem, 10 September 1997 (p.1)

Remarks by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Albright at a joint press conference
Jerusalem, 10 September 1997 (p.2)

Radio address to the Palestinian people by Secretary of State Albright
Ramallah, West Bank, 12 September 1997 (p.4)

Text of a European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Middle East
Strasbourg, 18 September 1997 (p.8)

Statement by Secretary of State Albright on the resumption of work of the Israeli-Palestinian interim committees
New York, 29 September 1997 (p.9)

Notes (p.11)








UNITED NATIONS
New York, October 1997






NOTE

Since April 1991, at the request of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat has prepared a compilation of statements, declarations, documents and other material regarding the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the question of Palestine, and the Middle East peace process entitled "Approaches towards the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine".

In January 1994, the bulletin was renamed "Developments related to the Middle East peace process". It includes information material related to the bilateral Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, the multilateral negotiations on Middle East regional issues, and other aspects of the Middle East peace process.

This issue covers the month of September 1997.


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This bulletin and its back issues can be found in the Lotus Notes-based
United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) at:

http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf

or on the UN Web site, Question of Palestine pages, at:

http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_dev.htm

*

Printed copies of this publication, and back issues, can be obtained from:

United Nations Secretariat
Division for Palestinian Rights
Room S-3362
New York, New York 10017
Tel: 212-963-5159
Fax: 212-963-4199




Statement by the United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on arrival for her tour of the Middle East
Jerusalem, 10 September 1997


The following is the text of the remarks by the United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made on 10 September 1997, in Jerusalem, on arrival for her first tour of the Middle East:



I am pleased to be here in Israel as Secretary of State to see with my new responsibilities a country I have visited several times before; and to begin by meeting with Foreign Minister Levy, and now with President Weizman, whose remarkable career reflects the many dimensions of Israel's turbulent but proud history. I arrived with a straightforward message from President Clinton, and from the American people. We are with you in the battle against terror and the struggle for security. We are with you in demanding that those who orchestrated the murder of innocent people in the market place and the mall be tracked down and punished. We are with you in your insistence that the Palestinian Authority fulfil the responsibilities and obligations it has undertaken. And we are with you in the determination that those who commit terror will not succeed now, or ever, in preventing the possibilities of peace between Israel and the Palestinians and throughout the Middle East from becoming a reality.

Events of recent days weigh heavily upon us all. I am grateful to President Weizman for his invitation to join him in visiting, later this morning, with some of those injured in the recent explosions. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims of those tragic acts of cowardice, and with their families and with those who have been victimized in the past.

During the next few days, I will be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other leaders, and will have much more to say about the peace process and the need for mutual responsibility and a renewed sense of partnership. But I also want to emphasize at the outset of my visit the deep bonds of friendship and understanding that make the US-Israeli relationship unlike any other. From the moment President Truman recognized the State of Israel eleven minutes after it was born, our countries have shared a love of freedom, a hunger for justice, a commitment to human dignity, and a desire for peace. But our peoples value learning and hard work. Both are proud of culture and tradition. Both are diverse, made up of immigrants from around the world. The partnership between our two countries is deeply rooted in history and shared values, and it has yielded rich dividends for both. Economically, through our free trade agreement and cooperation in science and technology, we have helped each other prosper and keep the pace with an ever changing global market place. Militarily, we have cooperated in many areas, including early warning and missile defence; and the United States remains absolutely committed to helping Israel maintain its qualitative military edge. Politically, our countries have worked together to strengthen the forces of democracy around the globe. And diplomatically, the United States and Israel have joined with our Arab partners not only to pursue peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but also to move towards a comprehensive peace characterized by secure borders, energized by regional cooperation, and backed by a worldwide effort to increase prosperity for Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs alike.

No people has suffered more from the ravages of terrorism, injustice, intolerance than the people of Israel. No nation has a more remarkable record of overcoming adversity than Israel. And no country has demonstrated a stronger will than Israel to deny to oppressors and murderers the victories they seek.

Terrorists can create grief, but they cannot defeat hope. And I am confident the people of this region, of all faiths and backgrounds, will not allow terrorists to define or limit the future. Although we are very much focused this week on the question of security, we also know that the path to real security is not separable from the path to real peace. One goes with the other; neither can go it alone. And the people of Israel, especially the children of Israel, deserve a future with both. According to the psalm, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” It has been a long night, and the joyous morning of true, lasting and secure peace has not yet brightened the land. Israel's dream has not yet fully come true.

Nevertheless, remarkable progress has been made in the 100 years since Theodore Herzl assembled the first Zionist Congress; in the half-century since David Ben Gurion inaugurated modern Israel; in the two decades since Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat achieved their breakthrough at Camp David; and even in the four years since former Prime Minister Rabin, Chairman Arafat and President Clinton met on the White House lawn. Israeli history is characterized by striving for peace, hope for a better future, courage and leadership. Those traits have brought Israel to the threshold of the twenty-first century strong, increasingly prosperous, and respected by all who value bravery and love freedom. And those traits have earned Israel the unbreakable and unending friendship of the people and Government of the United States.

In closing, let me thank you again, Mr. President, for your welcome here. I am also pleased to announce that President Clinton has extended an invitation to you to visit Washington in early October. So I am able to look forward, not only to our discussions today in your country, but also to your visit with us. Thank you very much.1/


Remarks by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Albright at a joint press conference
Jerusalem, 10 September 1997

On 10 September 1997, at a joint press conference in Jerusalem, the following opening remarks were made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State Albright:

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure and honour to welcome Secretary Albright on her first visit to Israel as Secretary of State. Secretary Albright is a distinguished world leader, and she represents the abiding kinship between our two peoples and our two countries. It is a bond of deeply shared values of freedom, of democracy and of friendship. This is also the first visit of Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State here and there are so many issues that we need to talk about, but we devoted our time to the most pressing discussion vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Israeli talks. I think that our meeting was truly most cordial and most productive, and Madeleine, we were deeply moved today by your words this morning. I'm sure they touched the hearts of all Israelis - they certainly touched mine - and they showed real empathy with our history, and, I think, a real understanding of our concerns and our desires and our hopes.

I want to emphasize again that we want the peace process to succeed. In fact, I'm convinced that my Government is the only Government which can bring this process to a successful conclusion. This Government is determined to achieve peace - real peace, peace with security. A peace that will last. A peace that will benefit all the peoples of our region. But obviously, no agreement can work unless both sides live up to their obligations.

The central, and I say the essential, premise of this agreement that was signed by Israel and the Palestinians exactly four years ago was based on a Palestinian commitment to wage an unrelenting war against terrorism. Unfortunately, in the four years that have passed, the Palestinian Authority has done virtually nothing to keep up this central commitment and as a result terrorism grew. It grew by leaps and bounds in the first three years under my predecessors, the late Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. It continues to grow in the absence of firm Palestinian Authority action against terrorism. We must make it clear to everyone who wants to see peace prevail that terrorism must not be used as an instrument of negotiations and violence is not an option in such negotiations. This is unacceptable. I know it is unacceptable to us and to the United States and it should be unacceptable to every peace-loving Government in the world. The only sane way to fight terrorism is to do what was explicitly undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, and was articulated so well by Secretary Albright, that is fighting the terrorists and dismantling their infrastructure. These are the critical components of security in waging war on terrorism. All this is not an item for bargaining. It is not an option. It is, as Secretary Albright has put it, “a sine qua non of the Oslo agreements.”

We believe the Palestinian Authority must do its part. It must fight terrorism with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ and it must do so soon if this process is to survive. It must, in short, decide if it wants peace with HAMAS or peace with Israel, but it cannot have both.

I want to assure you, Madame Secretary, that we will do everything to make your visit successful because your success is the success of the entire peace process, which we so fervently desire. If you are able to persuade the Palestinian Authority to wage war against the terrorists, I believe the road will be open to the continuation of the peace process to bring it to a successful conclusion. And I am convinced we can achieve peace. I hope the Palestinian Authority, our Palestinian partners, also desire this peace with the same fervour. And I hope they will prove it soon by fighting terrorism. We can achieve a good life for both our peoples in this small land. And if peace is to win, both sides would want it to win. We certainly do.2/


Secretary of State Albright

Thank you very much. Mr. Prime Minister, it is a great pleasure to be here with you, and I very much appreciate your characterization of our discussions. I do believe that we had very good discussions and reviewed a variety of issues relating to the pursuit of Israeli-Arab peace. Israel and the United States have long been partners in that historic endeavour and it is important that the partnership continue. Clearly, we are at a very difficult moment with negotiations stalled, and Israel and the Palestinians are locked in a crisis of confidence which has threatened the historic gains achieved in recent years. If we are to move forward, Israelis and Palestinians need to restore the partnership and the reciprocity that produced those achievements. The terrorist war being waged against Israel and peace itself has created a severe challenge.

This security is at the centre of my agenda. Let me be clear. The enemies of peace are purposely and relentlessly attacking Israelis, so the war against terror being waged by those who support the path of peace must also be purposeful and relentless. There is no way to completely protect any society from the threat of terror, but partners in pursuit of peace have a right to expect a total, sustained and comprehensive effort to pre-empt terror, to combat it, and to delegitimize those in their midst who associate themselves with it. There can be no room in this process for those groups who would tolerate or advocate terror and violence. I will be seeing Chairman Arafat tomorrow and my message will be clear: it is essential that Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation be serious, sustained and effective. At the same time, the Palestinian Authority must take unilateral steps and actions to root out the terrorist infrastructure. If we are to create and sustain an invigorated and accelerated negotiating process, there is simply no other way.

The Prime Minister has talked of the importance of reciprocity and he is right. Both Israelis and Palestinians must shoulder their responsibilities if we are to emerge from the current crisis. This process cannot succeed without reciprocity. But let me be clear. There is no moral equivalence between killing people and building houses. It is simply not possible to address political issues seriously in a climate of intimidation and terror. At the same time, real security depends ultimately on real peace. Achieving this peace turns fundamentally on a political process which meets, through a genuine process of give and take, the needs of both sides. Clearly, Israel also has a responsibility to shape an environment which will give that process a chance to succeed. This means that Israel should be taking steps that build confidence and should refrain from actions that undermine confidence and trust. As I said in my speech last month, it is very difficult to create a serious environment for negotiations when unilateral actions are taken that prejudge or pre-empt issues reserved for permanent status negotiations. Restoring a sense of partnership will not be accomplished quickly or easily, certainly not on a single visit. At the same time, I firmly believe that there's no alternative to the political pathway Israelis and Palestinians have chosen. The people of this region have seen too much violence. There have been too many victims. They do not deserve and will not accept a future that promises only more of the same. The United States will do all it can to help the parties rediscover the path for a brighter future with real security and real peace. The President of the United States and I are committed to that. And in that effort, as in our deep and abiding friendship with the people of Israel, the United States may be counted upon to persevere.2/

Radio address to the Palestinian people by Secretary of State Albright
Ramallah, West Bank, 12 September 1997


The following is the text of the “Address to the Palestinian People” delivered by Secretary of State Albright on 12 September 1997 in Ramallah, West Bank. The address was broadcast by the Palestinian Authoirity’s official radio station Voice of Palestine:


Good morning, this is the third day of my first visit to the Middle East as America's Secretary of State. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to meet with Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Netanyahu and with students from both the Israeli and Palestinian communities.

But I also wanted - and I am grateful to the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation for the chance - to speak directly to you, the Palestinian people. For the future of dignity, security and peace that I have journeyed here to promote will not come simply because diplomats wish it and declarations promise it. The United States can and will help, but in the end, only you and your neighbours can create that future and make it last.

In recent years, the peoples of this region have made important strides down the road towards opportunity and peace. At Oslo, there was, for the first time, a mutual recognition that Israelis and Palestinians must live together, and that you must work together on the basis of reciprocity and mutual responsibility to forge a permanent peace.

That agreement accomplished what decades of rejectionism and strife could not. More than ever before in the history of your national movement, you are able now to shape your own destiny.

You have established the Palestinian Authority.

You have achieved through negotiation the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Jericho and Gaza and their redeployment in Hebron.

In fulfilment of new responsibilities, last year, you held your first national elections.

You chose a Legislative Council whose members have become full partners in providing leadership for the Palestinian people.

In deliberations on such matters as the Basic Law and the budget, you have shown a clear desire to establish a thriving and democratic Palestinian society.

In that effort, America wants you to succeed. We have seen your enthusiasm for free expression, your perseverance in the face of adversity and your insistence on being treated with dignity. We have felt respect and a desire to help.

That is why the United States has long insisted that any peace agreement should recognize your legitimate political rights and aspirations.

It is why the United States has been a leader in providing economic assistance to help you build viable democratic institutions.

It is why we have encouraged the efforts of the World Bank, the IMF and other international agencies to work with you to meet basic needs and to create new opportunities for your people.

It is why we convened a process through which nations from around the world might contribute to the Palestinian Authority's success.

Above all, it is why the heart of the message that I have brought to the region this week, a message I am conveying on behalf of President Clinton and the American people, is that for you and for your neighbours, peace is the only option for the future.

The path of conflict is fertile only in the production of sorrow and grief. For Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs alike, it is a dry well. It offers a future only of more violence, more victims, more suffering and more hate. That is a dark future the people of this region do not deserve and I am convinced will not accept.

Although the road to peace can be very difficult to travel, it offers a different future, a future rich with the promise of mutual respect, increased cooperation and dignity for all peoples.

To make that future a reality, the crisis of confidence that has arisen in the peace process must be ended. The parties must break through the paralyzing cycle of recrimination and begin again to take pragmatic steps to move the peace process forward. And all those with a stake in peace must meet their responsibilities.

As Chairman Arafat has pledged, the Palestinian Authority must do everything within its power to prevent and punish terrorism and to deepen the irrevocable commitment made at Oslo to treat Israel not as an adversary but as a permanent partner in peace.

Israeli leaders should refrain from unilateral actions such as settlement expansion, land confiscation and house demolition that undermine Palestinian confidence in their intentions, and they should bear in mind - even as they strive to safeguard their people's security - that no nation has a greater stake than Israel in helping Palestinians to prosper.

The United States has a responsibility, which we recognize, to support peace without trying to impose peace. And as President Clinton has made clear, we will continue to meet that responsibility by supporting a comprehensive peace based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), including the principle of land for peace.

Finally, the international community has a responsibility to contribute its full diplomatic and financial backing to the peace process.

Before closing, I want to say a word about the emphasis I have placed during my trip on the need for all parties to join in the battle against terror.

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to visit with some of the surviving victims of the recent bombings in Jerusalem. To all the victims of those attacks, Jews and Arabs alike, we owe our prayers and our commitment to seek justice. But those who were injured or killed were not the only targets of these hateful acts. The explosions were just as surely designed to destroy the Palestinian experiment in democracy and to kill hopes for peace.

The sponsors of violence fear you - the Palestinian majority - because you have a vision and they do not

The bombers would rather see you suffer forever in isolation than succeed in living in peace with your neighbours.

They want to intimidate you into silence or complicity because your success would prove that there is an alternative to endless strife, that there is an alternative to reliance on the soul-withering and self-defeating instrument of terror.

As I said yesterday, those who commit terrorism in the name of the Palestinian cause are committing terrorism against the Palestinian cause.

The deafening sirens of terror make it harder for the world to hear your urgent and just call for dignity and opportunity.

They also cause Israel to respond with closures and other restrictive measures that - whether justified on security grounds or not - make it impossible for many of you to go about your daily lives, impossible to visit relatives and friends, impossible to bring a loved one to a hospital for needed treatment, and impossible to get to your jobs and earn income to put food on the table for your families.

In this way, the forces of terror simultaneously deny you your dreams for the future, while increasing your present suffering.

That is why the average Palestinian has no greater enemy than HAMAS or Islamic Jihad.

It is why fighting terrorism is the responsibility of both the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.

And it is why all should understand that the battle against terror is a pro-Palestinian and pro-Arab, as well as a pro-Israeli, cause.

The same is true of the effort to negotiate peace. That, too, is a mutual responsibility and necessity.

It is not enough for either side to say it is committed to peace. Both must renew and reinforce their commitment to the Oslo agreements and to the partnership that is inherent within them.

Both must act in the spirit of peace. Both must speak the language of peace. Both must rebut the opponents of peace. Both must take into account the needs and views of the other. Both must be willing to compromise. And both must contribute to an atmosphere in which the violent extremes are marginalized and the roots of trust may grow.

That will require courage and vision from leaders on both sides - and from you. For what is needed today is not just a partnership of leaders. There must also be a determination by the responsible majorities in both communities to revive, keep alive and strengthen the momentum towards reconciliation. Such a joint determination is the extremists’ worst nightmare. And it is the best hope for the dream of a true and lasting peace.

The American diplomat Ralph Bunche, who was involved in Israeli-Arab negotiations many years ago, once said:

“I have a bias against war; a bias for peace. I have a bias that leads me to believe in the essential goodness of my fellow man; which leads me to believe no problem in human relations is ever insoluble. I have a bias in favour of both Arabs and Jews in the sense that I believe that both are good, honourable and essentially peace-loving peoples and are therefore as capable of making peace as of waging war.”

Those are the words with which I want to leave you, because they capture my feelings exactly. That we must still repeat them decades after they were spoken is an unhappy fact. That we still do repeat them, that they still ring true today, is a more important fact.

The United States supports the efforts of the Palestinian people to live in dignity, democracy and prosperity.

We believe it is not only necessary, but possible, to reconcile Israel's legitimate concerns about security with the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.

We take heart in the knowledge that the goal of a comprehensive Middle East peace is supported today by people from all spiritual traditions, from all walks of life, on every continent.

We are convinced that achieving a lasting peace is the best way to honour the sacrifices of those on all sides who have fought, sacrificed and suffered in the past.

And we have faith that, despite recent setbacks, the peoples of this region will choose peace, know peace and live in peace in years to come.

Towards that shared goal, the United States pledges its continued best efforts and help.

Shukran. And God bless you.3/



Text of a European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Middle East
Strasbourg, 18 September 1997


The following resolution on the situation in Middle East was adopted by the European Parliament at its meeting in Strasbourg, on 18 September 1997:

Minutes of 18/09/97

Situation in the Middle East

Document B4-0728/97

Resolution on the murderous attacks carried out in Jerusalem on 30 July and 4 September 1997 and on the Middle East peace process


The European Parliament,

- recalling its previous resolutions on the situation in the Middle East,

- having regard to UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425,

A. deeply shocked by the bomb attacks carried out on 30 July and 4 September 1997 in the very heart of Jerusalem, which resulted in a number of people being killed or injured and for which HAMAS has claimed responsibility,

B. worried by the resumption of the fighting in southern Lebanon, which has resulted in a large number of victims,

C. very worried by the stalemate in the peace process resulting from the decision of the Israeli Government to suspend the Oslo Accords, and reminding the Israeli Government of the need to refrain from taking any action that undermines the negotiations forming part of the peace process,

D. convinced that the peace process can make progress only if both the Palestinian Authority and Israel adhere strictly to the principles and agreements to which they have subscribed,

E. hoping that the European Union will play a more active political role in the region and in the revival of the peace process, and having regard, in this connection, to the recent proposals made and initiatives taken by the President-in-Office of the Council,

1. Repeats its total condemnation of all forms of terrorism, strongly condemns the attacks, which resulted in several people being killed or injured and expresses its sympathy to the families of the victims;

2. Considers it essential, if a global and stable peace is to be achieved in the region, for mutual confidence to be restored and for the dialogue to be reopened between Palestinians and Israelis on the implementation of the Oslo Accords and on the fixing of the agenda for the negotiations on the settlements, the final status of the occupied territories, the status of Jerusalem and the refugee problem;

3. Welcomes the initiative taken by Mr. Poos, President-in-Office of the Council, who wrote to the American Secretary of State, Mrs. Albright, and supports the proposal that a Permanent Security Committee, which should include the United States and the European Union, be set up with a view to the joint management of the crisis; calls on all the interested parties to respond positively to that proposal;

4. Welcomes, further, the fact that the President-in-Office of the Council has revived the European Union's idea concerning the conclusion of a “Code of Conduct” between the two parties, calls on them to subscribe thereto and, in particular, to give the following undertakings:

- an undertaking from Israel concerning the next phase of redeployment, as provided for in the Interim Accord,

- full and sustained cooperation by the Palestinians as regards security, including the fight against terrorism,

- an undertaking to refrain from taking any unilateral action (especially the settlements) which might prejudice any final decisions;

5. Notes, in this connection, the appeal made by the American Secretary of State, Mrs. Albright, on Thursday, 11 September 1997, for a suspension of the colonization of the occupied territories and deplores the Israeli Government's refusal to entertain that proposal;

6. Notes, further, the American wish to see the campaign against terrorism stepped up within the occupied territories and calls on the United States and the European Union to review, together with the Palestinian authorities, the possibilities of cooperation on that issue;

7. Appeals urgently to all the parties concerned to do their utmost to ensure that the meeting between Israelis and Palestinians to be held in New York at the end of this month has the best prospects for success with a view to the revival of the peace process;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, Commission, the Israeli Government, the Palestinian Authority and the US Administration.4/



Statement by Secretary of State Albright on the resumption of work of the Israeli-Palestinian interim committees
New York, 29 September 1997

On 29 September 1997, at the conclusion of her meeting in New York with the Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy and the Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the PLO Mahmud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright made the following statement:


I just concluded a productive meeting with Foreign Minister Levy and PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Abu Mazen. Clearly we’ve come together with a common purpose and aim - to continue our efforts to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace based on the principles agreed to at Madrid and in the Oslo Accords, which will lead to the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967)and 338 (1973). That road has not been an easy one, but today's session was productive and I believe we are headed in the right direction.

We all agreed that it is essential to re-energize the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and to create the kind of environment necessary for those negotiations to succeed. Both Foreign Minister Levy and Abu Mazen recognized that this would require fulfilling their mutual responsibilities on the basis of reciprocity.

We all recognized that security is a critical foundation for moving the peace process forward. The Israeli and Palestinian sides agreed to enhance their bilateral security cooperation in the fight against terror. Chairman Arafat reassured me during my recent trip to the region that the Palestinian Authority would undertake concrete actions to combat systematically and effectively terrorist infrastructure. In this regard, we have seen some encouraging steps taken in the last several days. The Palestinians reaffirmed their commitment to continue these actions in a sustained and comprehensive manner. We all agreed that there is no place for terror and violence in this process. Both sides agreed that they must take the necessary measures to prevent such acts.

At the same time, it is clear that real security depends ultimately on real peace, and that this requires a serious and sustained political process. With this in mind, the two sides agreed to resume negotiations in the interim committees established to implement the Interim Agreement. Each side pledged to work quickly and in good faith to conclude these negotiations and implement their results as soon as possible with the objective of achieving a mutually agreed target date. These negotiations will begin the week of 6 October with a meeting of the Joint Liaison Committee, chaired by Foreign Minister Levy and Secretary-General Abu Mazen.

We also agreed that only through sustained negotiations can Israelis and Palestinians reach a comprehensive agreement that addresses the needs of both sides. In order to create a sound basis, which will allow those negotiations to produce results, the following elements would be addressed:

- Continued security cooperation and efforts to fight terror and its infrastructure;

- Further redeployments in accordance with Secretary Christopher's letter of 17 January, 1997 and the US Note for the Record, which are based on the Interim Agreement;

- The definition and content of a time-out regarding unilateral steps so that each side can ensure the right environment for the duration of the permanent status negotiations;

- Acceleration of permanent status negotiations with a mutually agreed target date.

The United States is prepared to do everything possible to assist the parties in these efforts. Indeed, the parties have asked us to play a role. With this in mind, I am sending Dennis Ross and our team to the region to help launch the negotiations of the interim committees. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will return to Washington for the week of 13 October to work together with our assistance on the elements for getting the overall process back on track.

I want to thank Foreign Minister Levy and Secretary-General Abu Mazen again for their efforts. The road ahead is not an easy one. But with the courage, determination and creativity of my colleagues here today, and their leaders, we can make progress towards our goal of a real and lasting peace.5/



* * *

Notes


1. USIA, via the Internet at <www.usia.gov/current/news/geog/nea.shtml>

2. US Department of State, Secretary of State, via the Internet at <http://secretary.state.gov/www/statements/970910a.html>

3. USIA, via the Internet at <www.usia.gov/current/news/geog/nea.shtml>

4. EUROPARL, the European Parliament Web Service, via the Internet at <http//www.db.europarl.eu.int/dg7-bin/seid.pl>

5. US Department of State, Secretary of State, via the Internet at<http://secretary.state.gov/www/statements/970929.html>; also USIA, via the Internet at <http://www.usia.gov/products/washfile/nea.shtml>

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