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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: France
Egypt
18 May 1998

Following is the full text of the statement issued Monday in Paris by French President Jacques Chirac and Egyptian President Hosni Moubarak, according to an AFP translation from the French:

“We, presidents of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the French Republic, express our extreme concern about the continuing deadlock in all aspects of the peace process in the Middle East.

“We are in particular seriously troubled by the lack of progress on the Palestinian aspect, despite the real efforts undertaken by the United States, which we supported as a step towards the relaunching of the peace process.

“In the light of this, we welcome the positive reaction of the Palestinians to the last American proposals. We make an urgent appeal to the Israeli government to respond in a positive and constructive manner now to these proposals.

“Any additional delay in the resumption of the peace process can only lead to more frustration which, in turn, will inevitably lead to violence and instability, as the latest developments have shown."

“We solemnly reaffirm our attachment to the peace process launched in Madrid.

“We strongly believe that security can only be assured by the establishment of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of putting into effect fully UN Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425, as well as the principles agreed in Madrid, notably an exchange of land for peace and the realisation of the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people."

“In our opinion, that should lead to the realisation of the right of the Palestinian people to establish its own independent state on the basis of its right to self-determination."

“In addition, we stress the absolute necessity of strictly and fully respecting the accords signed in the Oslo peace process framework and abstaining from unilateral measures going against these accords and their principles, in particular the settlements (eds: correct).

“We also state the urgent need for a resumption of talks on the Syrian and Lebanese aspects, based on the progress already made between the parties concerned.

“The Madrid Conference and the progress which followed aroused extraordinary hope for people who had for too long been deprived of their rights and the possibility of living in peace and security."

“A significant part of the way has already been taken courageously to reaching these objectives. We cannot accept conditions that will lead to a return to frustration, tension and violence. We launch a solemn appeal for short-term considerations to be overcome, in order that, in a spirit of responsibility, the historic challenge of peace is answered."

“This is the unanimous wish of the international community which has given the peace process in the Middle East the highest priority, in the hope that the Arab-Israeli settlement would be agreed before the end of the century.

“We underline the growing responsibility of all the international powers, in particular the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation, to persevere in their efforts to overcome the obstacles blocking the resumption and the success of all aspects of the peace process in the Middle East.

“We have looked at several alternatives in this light. We propose a conference of countries determined to save the peace. This conference would maintain and confirm all the existing accords and principles.

“It would tackle the protagonists afterwards to give a new hope, new momentum to the peace process. We are going to hold in-depth consultations with all our partners involved in this project."

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