Statement by the President of the Security Council, A. I. Denisov, at the meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People devoted to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

 

 

(29 November 2005)

           Mr. Chairman,

           Your Excellencies,

           This year has brought significant positive changes to the progress in the Middle East peace process. The most important of them is the withdrawal by Israel from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank of the Jordan River. This is a prologue to the implementation of the “road map” and the return of sovereignty to all Palestinian territories.

           Now, the main task of the parties to the Middle East peace process and of the international community assisting them, represented by the Quartet of the Middle East intermediaries, is to prevent a lengthy pause in negotiations. Otherwise, the positive movement gained with such difficulty may be lost.

           The Security Council unconditionally supports the work of the Quartet and advocates the continuation of the dialogue between the Palestinian National Administration and Israel.

           Of course, progress in this dialogue depends on a number of factors. They include the attitudes prevalent in Israeli society favouring a resumption of negotiations with the Palestinian side. A radical breakthrough in such attitudes can ensue only after effective actions have been taken by the Palestinian Administration to halt terrorist activity in the territory under its control and to establish reliable law and order there.

           Mr. Chairman,

           It should be pointed out that, without visible improvements in the everyday life of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, the certain degree of euphoria existing now in the Palestinian lands may turn into disappointment, which extremist forces will not fail to exploit. In this context, ensuring freedom of movement of people and goods in the Palestinian territories, their relations with the outside world, and clear observance by the parties of the principle of refraining from steps that might predetermine the outcome of the final status negotiations — all this must promote movement forward along the path of a long-term political settlement. In this connection, one cannot but welcome the Israeli-Palestinian agreement achieved recently on the border crossings.

           At the same time, we must stress the need for Israel to halt all forms of settlement activity and to put an end to the construction of the “separation wall”. Of course, the legitimate concerns of the Israeli side with regard to ensuring its own security must be taken into account as a matter of obligation.

 

           Mr. Chairman,

           In conclusion, I should like to say that the Security Council is united in the view that the international community must take concrete steps to ensure that the positive changes in the Palestinian-Israeli settlement are not undone by extremists. These changes must make it possible to resume the implementation of the provisions of the “road map” and to come closer to achieving the final goal — the establishment of an independent, viable Palestine existing in peace and security with Israel.