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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/56/696
11 December 2001

Original: English

Fifty-sixth session
Agenda items 41 and 42
Question of Palestine
The situation in the Middle East

Letter dated 7 December 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Chile
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General


I have the honour to transmit herewith the Declaration of the Rio Group on the subject of the crisis in the Middle East, issued in Santiago on 5 December 2001 (see annex).

On behalf of the States members of the Rio Group, I should be grateful if you could arrange for the present letter and its annex to be circulated as a document of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, under agenda items 41 and 42.


(Signed) Juan Gabriel Valdés
Permanent Representative



Annex to the letter dated 7 December 2001 from the Permanent Representative of Chile
to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

Declaration on the Middle East*


In view of the very serious deterioration of the situation in the Middle East, which is witnessing a succession of violent acts involving and affecting the authorities and peoples of Israel and Palestine, the Rio Group has agreed to:

1. Call upon the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority to do their utmost to bring an immediate halt to all acts of violence, as recommended in the Mitchell report, so as to restore the minimum conditions of confidence necessary to prevent a deterioration of the present situation, which poses a threat to security and peace in the region and in the world.

2. Reiterate the Declaration made on 14 November 2001, in New York, by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Rio Group concerning the crisis in the Middle East.

3. Request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to continue making every effort to bring about a rapprochement between the parties.

In order to contribute to the achievement of the above-mentioned objectives, the Rio Group will join with other countries of the international community and, in particular, with other regional groups such as the European Union, in the efforts to achieve that same objective of peace and security.

The Secretariat pro tempore will promptly communicate the text of this pressing appeal and position of the Rio Group to the Government of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority. It will also take steps to have the secretariat of the United Nations Security Council circulate this declaration among the members of that organ for their information.


Santiago, Chile, 5 December 2001

______________
* Previously issued in S/2001/1170.



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