About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The substantive portion of a reply received from Austria to the Secretary-General's letter dated 4 March 1976 is reproduced below, in conformity with the Committee's decision.
[29 April 1976]
The views of the Austrian Government on the Middle East problem including the Palestine question have been set out on a number of occasions, both in the Security Council as well as in the General Assembly and most recently on the occasion of the adoption of resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, by which the Assembly decided to establish the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
In these declarations the Austrian Government expressed the opinion that any attempt to find a solution to the Middle East and Palestinian questions must be and firmly placed within the framework of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). These resolutions should continue to be the basis for the pursuit of a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict. They establish as a main element for just and lasting peace in the area respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area - Israel as well as her Arab neighbours - and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.
It is also the firm belief of the Austrian Government that peace in the Middle East cannot be assured without recognition of the legitimate rights and aspirations of the Palestinian people. In the past disregard of this essential aspect was responsible for many failures in attempts to approach a settlement of the Middle East conflict.
The Austrian Government, therefore, supports ongoing efforts to involve the representatives of the Palestinian people into the international process of negotiation. Only by way of such a procedure the burden of responsibility would be equitably shared by all parties.
Finally, the Austrian Government wishes to renew its firm attachment to the principle of peaceful settlement of international conflicts in accordance with Article 2, paragraph 3 of the Charter of the United Nations. It is this principle in particular which should govern efforts to solve the crisis in the Middle East, including the problem of the exercise of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.