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23 June 2005
G8 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING, UK CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT
G8 Foreign Ministers met in London on 23 June to discuss a range of global and regional issues. The meeting focussed on the situation in Afghanistan – on which we have issued a separate statement – the Middle East and Iran. We also exchanged views on UN Reform, international trade in arms, and developments in the Western Balkans, Sudan, North Korea, Iraq, Lebanon, Zimbabwe and Haiti.
The Middle East
We discussed the situation in the Middle East and welcomed the work of James Wolfensohn, the Quartet's Special Envoy on Gaza Disengagement and US Security Coordinator General Ward. Mr Wolfensohn briefed us on his work so far and on how we might maximise the opportunity presented by Israel's planned disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank. In particular, he outlined specific proposals to support Palestinian reform and institution building and to ensure effective channelling of donor assistance. We urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to co-ordinate with him and with each other on their planning for the withdrawals. We are all clear that Gaza disengagement must be a success.
We underlined our commitment to working with the parties and the international community, through the Roadmap, towards the goal of two viable states living side by side in peace and security. We call on the Palestinian Authority to press ahead with the reform agenda, in particular to deliver on their security commitments under the Roadmap. We urge Israel to meet its Roadmap commitments, particularly on settlements. We affirmed G8 support for a negotiated solution to the Middle East conflict in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
We discussed progress against UNSCR 1559 and 1595. We welcomed the work of the UNSG's Special Representative Terje Roed Larsen in ensuring the implementation of these resolutions. Following the holding of peaceful elections, we encourage the new Lebanese Government to comply with both resolutions, consolidate the establishment of democracy and take action to strengthen the Lebanese economy. We deplore the series of political assassinations that have taken place. We call on Lebanon's neighbours, in particular Syria, to co-operate in ensuring full compliance with the UNSCRs and to contribute actively to regional security and stability.