Mideast situation/Palestine – European Council meeting conclusions – Letter from Germany

Letter dated 24 March 1983 from the Permanent Representative

of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations

addressed to the Secretary-General

In my capacity as acting Chairman of the Permanent Representatives of the States members of the European Community in New York, I have the honour to inform you that the Heads of State and Government of the Ten, meeting as the European Council, adopted at Brussels, on 22 March 1983, the following conclusions on the situation in the Middle East.

"The European Council discussed the situation in the Middle East, including Lebanon and the war between Iran and Iraq.

"The Ten are deeply disturbed by the continued lack of progress towards peace between Israel and her Arab neighbours. They are convinced that all parties must seize the present opportunity to achieve the two most urgent objectives: the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon and a resumption of negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peace settlement.

"The Ten reaffirm their support for the sovereign and independent State of Lebanon and for its Government, which should urgently be enabled to re-establish without restrictions its authority over the whole of its territory. This requires the prompt withdrawal of Israeli, Syrian and PLO forces. The Ten support the efforts of the United States to achieve this objective. They call on all concerned to conclude negotiations without further delay. They continue to support the peace-keeping role of the United Nations and multinational forces in Lebanon.

"The principles which underlie the Ten's approach to wider peace negotiations, as set out in more than one previous statement, remain valid. A lasting peace can only be built on the right to a secure existence for all States in the region, including Israel, and justice for all the peoples, including the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination with all that this implies. These rights must be mutually recognised by the parties themselves.  Negotiations will have to embrace all the parties concerned, including the Palestinian people, and the PLO will have to be associated with them. The threat or use of force must be renounced by all.

"President Reagan's initiative of 1 September 1982 indicated a way to peace, and the Arab summit meeting at Fez demonstrated a readiness for it.  The task now is to move beyond statements of principle and find a means to reconcile and implement the various peace proposals. The conclusions of the recent meeting of the Palestine National Council can and should contribute to the peace process. The Ten therefore welcome the discussions between Jordan and the PLO. The Palestinian people and the PLO should seize the present opportunity by declaring themselves in favour of peace negotiations. This would be a major step forward, to which the Ten would expect all concerned to respond constructively.

"The Ten look to the Arab States to play their part by supporting those who seek a solution to the demands of the Palestinian people by political means.

"The efforts of the United States will continue to be indispensable to create the conditions in which negotiations can begin.

“Above all, the time has come for Israel to show that it stands ready for genuine negotiations on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (19731, in the first place by refraining from enlarging existing settlements or creating new ones. These settlements are contrary to international law and a major and growing obstacle to peace efforts.

"The Middle East is a region with which the Ten have long been closely associated and in whose future they have a deep interest. They intend to maintain their contacts with all the parties and to use their influence to encourage movement towards compromise and negotiated solutions. They believe that this is in the best interest of the countries and the peoples of the region, of the Ten themselves and of their mutual relations.

"The Ten expressed once again their growing concern at the continued conflict between Iraq and Iran, which constitutes an ever more serious threat to the security and stability of the entire region.

“The Ten deeply regret that none of the peace initiatives organised hitherto has succeeded in bringing the fighting to an end. They call for a cease-fire, the cessation of all military operations and the withdrawal of forces to internationally recognized frontiers and for a just and honourable

settlement negotiated in accordance with the resolutions of the Security Council and acceptable to both parties."

I should be grateful if you would kindly have the text of this letter distributed as a document of the General Assembly, under item 34 of the preliminary list, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Guenther van WELL


Permanent Representative


* A/38/50.


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