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        General Assembly
        Security Council

10 November 1998


Fifty-third session
Agenda items 39 and 40
Fifty-third year

Report of the Secretary-General

1. The present report is submitted in accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/52 of 9 December l997 on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.

2. On 25 August 1998, the Secretary-General, pursuant to the request contained in paragraph 9 of the above-mentioned resolution, addressed the following letter to the President of the Security Council:

3. On 22 September 1998, the following reply was received from the Security Council:

4. In a note verbale dated 31 August 1998 to the parties concerned, the Secretary-General sought the positions of the Governments of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization, regarding any steps taken by them to implement the relevant provisions of the resolution. As of 30 October 1998, the following reply had been received:

Note verbale dated 9 October 1998 from the Permanent
Observer of Palestine to the United Nations addressed
to the Secretary-General


5. The signing of the Wye River memorandum by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization is a promising development. This agreement complements and adds details to the accords that the parties concluded in the past and, more importantly, paves the way to permanent status negotiations. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the dedication, courage and tireless efforts of all participants in the Wye Plantation meetings.

6. It is to be hoped that the Wye agreement will bring to an end the delays and unilateral actions that have hampered progress in the Middle East peace process for far too long. The primary obligations of the Palestinians and Israelis are clear: respectively, to take all legal measures to combat violence and terrorism, and to carry out, on time, further redeployments in the West Bank as laid down in the agreement. It is imperative that the good will demonstrated at Wye Plantation be translated into scrupulous implementation of the commitments made by both sides, thereby rebuilding confidence and raising new hope for peace, stability and security for all in the region.

7. That the Wye agreement offers economic opportunities for the Palestinian people is also to be welcomed. Such opportunities are essential if peace in the Middle East is to prosper. The United Nations system will continue to support progress in the Israeli-Palestinian talks and to provide economic, social and other assistance to the occupied territories.

8. It is to be hoped that advances in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations will create favourable momentum for the resumption of the Israel-Syrian Arab Republic and Israel-Lebanon talks. This will be essential for the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978.


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