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        General Assembly
        Security Council

11 April 1988

Original: ENGLISH

Forty-third session
Item 40 of the preliminary list*
Forty-third year

Letter dated 5 April 1988 from the Permanent Representatives of Denmark, Finland,
Iceland, Norway and Sweden to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at their meeting at Tromsø, Norway, on 23 and 24 March 1988, discussed the situation in the Middle East. We have the honour to transmit herewith the joint Nordic statement on the situation in the Middle East from this meeting.

We should be grateful if Your Excellency would arrange to have the present letter and the attached text circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda item 40 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Keijo KORHONEN
Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Denmark to the United Nations
(Signed) Ole BIERRING
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations
(Signed) Hans G. ANDERSEN
Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Iceland
to the United Nations
(Signed) Tom VRAALSEN
Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Norway to the United Nations
(Signed) Jan ELIASSON
Ambassador, Permanent
Representative of Sweden to the United Nations

* A/43/50.

Statement on the Middle East issued by the Ministers for Foreign
Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at their
meeting at Tromsø, Norway, on 23 and 24 March 1988

At their meeting at Tromsø, Norway, on 23 and 24 March 1988, the Nordic Ministers for Foreign Affairs discussed the situation in the Middle East.

They expressed their deep regret and concern about the developments in the Israeli occupied territories. The Ministers rejected the Israeli occupation policy, which is in contravention of important principles of international and humanitarian law. The international community has an obligation to increase its assistance to those affected, and the Ministers called for increased contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East activities in the occupied territories.

The Ministers reiterated their full support for the early convening of an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties directly concerned, to deal with all aspects of the Middle East conflict. At such a conference the Palestinian people must be represented by those who enjoy their full confidence. They reiterated their strong appeal to all parties to promote a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and as soon as possible to enter into negotiations on the basis of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and the Palestinian people's right to self-determination, with all that that involves.

It is a particular responsibility of the Government of Israel, as the occupying Power, to guarantee that the obligations concerning human rights and international law be complied with in the occupied territories. This applies especially to the provisions of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War as they relate to the occupied territories.

Pending a comprehensive and peaceful solution, the parties must break the vicious circle of violence. All must contribute towards an increased confidence between all parties.

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