1. The Parliamentary Assembly welcomes the election of Mr Mahmoud Abbas to the presidency of the Palestinian Authority. This election opens a new window of opportunity for dialogue and the renewal of the peace process in the Middle East.
2. The contacts between all parties concerned must be resumed immediately in order to take full advantage of the momentum resulting from the outcome of the election. The international community should actively contribute to the resumption of contacts between both parties. The United Nations, the United States, the European Union and the Russian Federation should assume their responsibilities, in line with their international positions and aspirations, and be much more actively involved in the negotiation process.
3. The road map continues to be a valid reference for the peace negotiations, and a two-state solution remains the only realistic political settlement of the conflict.
4. The political solution can only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism. A ceasefire on both sides should be declared without delay. The Palestinian leadership should receive all possible support in its continued efforts to curb terrorism. The Assembly condemns, without reservation, all violence on both sides and in particular attacks against the civilian population.
5. It is essential that the democratic process within the Palestinian Authority continues. The international community should offer every assistance and support to the Palestinian leadership in carrying out this difficult task.
6. The Assembly strongly urges the Israeli and Palestinian sides to:
i. declare a ceasefire without further delay;
ii. immediately resume contacts and engage in a meaningful peace process and negotiations;
iii. co-operate with international mediators.
7. The Assembly calls on the Government of Israel to:
i. halt the military operations and extrajudicial executions of militants of Palestinian extremist organisations;
ii. consider the withdrawal of military forces and settlers from Gaza as a part of the peace process in co-operation with the Palestinian side and not as an isolated step;
iii. review its position concerning the construction of the security wall taking into account the decision of the International Court of Justice;
iv. put an end to the construction and expansion of the illegal settlements without any further delay.
8. The Assembly calls on the Palestinian leaders and in particular President Abbas to:
i. make full use of their authority and powers to halt attacks against the Israelis;
ii. take all appropriate measures to dismantle terrorist organisations;
iii. pursue democratic reforms.
9. The Assembly calls on the European Union and the Russian Federation to assume their responsibility and play a much more active role in the peace process.
10. The Assembly calls on the United States Government, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and in consultation with its European partners, to use its influence in order to achieve a just peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, as an indispensable part of a wider democratic process and prosperity in the Middle East.
11. The Assembly remains convinced that the involvement of the international community could play a decisive role in the successful settlement of the conflict. In this respect, contacts at parliamentary level would be of great importance.
12. The Parliamentary Assembly resolves to facilitate contacts between parliamentarians from the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council, and in particular instructs its relevant committees as well as its Secretary General to step up co-operation with their counterparts in both parliaments by organising joint meetings, conferences and training programmes. Furthermore, the Parliamentary Assembly expresses its readiness to observe the forthcoming elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council.
13. The Parliamentary Assembly invites the Political Affairs Committee to consider the possibility of using its sub-committee on the Middle East as a tripartite forum allowing parliamentarians from the Knesset, the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Parliamentary Assembly to sit together on an equal footing with a right to speak and make proposals for the sub-committee’s agenda and plans of action.
14. The Assembly calls on the Venice Commission to provide the Palestinian leaders with expertise within areas of their competence, in particular in regard to the conformity of the Palestinian legislation with international standards.
15. The Assembly calls on the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe to consider possible co-operation with local authorities in the region, in particular with a view to twinning towns.
16. The Parliamentary Assembly, as a matter of principle, supports the peace efforts made by the prominent Israeli and Palestinian figures who launched the Geneva Initiative on 1 December 2003 and opened up a new prospect for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Assembly calls on the members of the Knesset and the Palestinian Legislative Council to lend their support to the Geneva Initiative and to step up these efforts towards peace.
17. Recalling its Resolution 1156 (1998) and Recommendation 1612 (2003) calling on the United Nations to establish an international fund (“Palestine Refugee and Displaced Persons Final Status Fund”) to finance the permanent accommodation that is necessary to end the appalling conditions and poverty in the Palestine refugee camps, the Assembly recommends that the forthcoming international conference on strengthening the Palestinian Authority, which will take place in London on 1 March 2005, take account of these proposals as a constructive and necessary contribution to the peace process.
1. Assembly debate on 26 January 2005 (5th Sitting) (see Doc.10427, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Margelov).
Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 January 2005 (5th Sitting).