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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
16 April 1976



Statement made by the representative
of Greece at the 12th meeting of the
Committee on 13 April 1976*

The Greek delegation has had many opportunities to express its solidarity and sympathy with the Palestinian people,who are part of the great Arab nation, to which Greece is linked by historical ties of friendship and by a common heritage in culture and civilization that goes back to a very remote past.

So I do not think it is necessary for me to repeat what is already on record, I wish, however, to refer briefly to my statement in the General Assembly on 5 November 1975, when the question of Palestine was debated. I said then that the problem of the Palestinian people "cuts through the heart of the crisis itself", and that unless we decide to face this real issue we could be debating for months without any constructive results.

Also, in the joint communique which was issued on 23 January 1976 on the occasion of the official visit to Egypt of the Prime Minister of Greece, it is Stated that "the Palestinian problem is at the core of the Middle East crisis". We feel that the debate at the 30th session of the General Assembly on the question of Palestine and the Middle East, resulting as it did in the adoption of resolutions 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX), which were supported by Greece, as well as the subsequent discussions in the Security Council, have amply demonstrated and given full recognition to this very important point.

Greece's position on the question of the Palestinian people is based on the fundamental principles of the Charter and above all on the principle of self-determination as well as on the resolutions that have been adopted by the Security Council and the General Assembly. We believe that any solution, if it is to be just and viable, should be in accordance with the following principles:

First, the inadmissibility of any acquisition of territories by the use of military force.

Second, the evacuation by Israel of all the Arab territories occupied in June 1967.

Third, the recognition of the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinians, including their right to self-determination and to a national identity.

Fourth, a solution that guarantees the sovereignty and independence of all y. the States in the area.

Fifth, support for all negotiating efforts aiming at a just, durable and peaceful settlement in the Middle East in conformity with the above-mentioned principles.

In the last point we include the reconvening of the Geneva Peace Conference^ with the participation of all parties concerned. May I recall that Greece vote in favour of General Assembly resolutions 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) calling for an invitation to the Palestinian Liberation Organization, as representative of the Palestinian people, to participate in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with the other parties. Specifically operative paragraph 3 of resolution 3375 (XXX) provides for all necessary steps to be taken in order to secure the invitation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization to participate in the work of the Conference as well as in all other efforts for peace.

Another essential aspect of the problem is the one dealt with by resolution 3376 (XXX) in its operative paragraph 2, subparagraph (b), concerning the return of the Palestinians to their homes and properties from which they have been displaced and uprooted. Without having to go into specific proposals that have been made in this respect, I wish to state that the return of the Palestinians to their homes and properties is a high priority, and, as the representative of Pakistan quite rightly pointed out in his statement in this Committee on March 1976, this return should not await any political or territorial, arrangements. It is to be trusted that this fundamental principle, to which we should all subscribe, will be generally and without exception applied to other existing cases in the area, of which we have, unfortunately, bitter experience. The situation continues to be explosive in the Middle East and is still fraught with serious dangers for the international peace and for the stability in the area. We hope that all the parties concerned will show the statesmanship and the genuine willingness to negotiate which are the necessary prerequisites if we want to achieve a comprehensive fundamental political settlement for the problem in the Middle East and a just and lasting peace.

* Distributed in accordance with a decision of the Committee.


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