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Committee on Rights of                          Press Release GA/PAL/13

 Palestinian People                             31 March 1976

10th Meeting (AM)


     The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People heard this morning a statement by the representative of Turkey in its continuing general debate.

     Remarks on a decision taken by the Committee at its meeting yesterday on

the proposal of Tunisia, to invite the Secretary-General to express his views

on the Committee's work, were made by the observer from the Palestine

Liberation Organization (PLO), by the representative of Tunisia, and by the

Chairman, Medoune Fall (Senegal).

     Zehdi Labib Terzi (PLO) expressed the view that his delegation did not see in the mandate of the Committee any authority that the Committee could ask the Secretary-General to give his views on the implementation of resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975 on the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians.  Implementing these rights was the mandate of the Committee, not of the Secretary-General, he added.

     The Chairman, Mr. Fall (Senegal), agreed that, on an official basis, the

Committee could not ask the Secretary-General to make suggestions, but informal contacts with the Secretary-General could be maintained.  He suggested that he continue his personal contacts with the Secretary-General and his personnel and keep the Committee informed on developments.

     Rachid Driss (Tunisia) said he would not insist on his proposal, but

urged the Committee to define a programme of action which would enable the

"vicious circle" of inaction to be broken and for the Palestinians to recover

their rights.

     The Committee then went into closed session to discuss procedures for

preparing its report which is to be submitted to the Secretary-General by

1 June 1976 and considered by the Security Council shortly thereafter.

     Statement by Turkey

     In his statement, UWAL MARASLI (Turkey) pointed out that, last year in

the General Assembly, a number of countries had opposed the resolution creating the Committee.  Therefore, there might be an expectation that the Committee could not achieve much.  The Committee had to prove that this skepticism was erroneous and that a real and substantial contribution could be made to the momentum that the movement to settle the Palestinian question had gathered over the last two years.

     Turkey, he said, from the very beginning, had been closely associated with the discussion of the question of Palestine in the United Nations.  It was a member of the Conciliation Commission of Palestine which was created by General Assembly resolution 194 in 1948, and a member of the working group on the financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near-East.  Recently, Turkey had supported the historic resolution 3236 (XXIX), adopted by the General Assembly in 1974, defining and reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, including their rights to self-determination, to independence and sovereignty and to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced and uprooted.

     Israel, he said, should immediately and unconditionally withdraw from all

the territories it had occupied since 1967.  A settlement to the Middle East

problem should make it possible for all the countries in the area to safeguard

their independence, their sovereignty and the security of their boundaries.

     The Committee, he continued, had to determine the procedures to follow

regarding contacts with various States and international organization, as

stipulated in Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX), which established the Committee.

He pointed out that the Committee had already decided to invite the PLO, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Jordan  and Mauritania to take part in its deliberations. It had also been suggested that the Committee also establish contact with Israel. "We know of course the initial negative attitude of the Israeli Government, but this should not prevent us from making our position clear in this respect", he added.

     The possibility of appropriate consultations with the members of the

Security Council, with its permanent members in particular, had also been men-

tioned, he stated.  This was a very pertinent view, since the programme of

implementation would inevitably require some action by the Security Council.

     He recalled that the representative of the PLO had suggested that the

Committee recommend, as a first step, the exercise of the right of return of

Palestinians displaced from territories occupied since June 1967.  His dele-

gation believed that this suggestion reflected a judicious approach and that

it should be very carefully studied in all its aspects.

     He recalled further that the representative of Egypt had reminded the

Committee that his Government had called for the reconvening of the Geneva

Peace Conference on the Middle East with the participation of the PLO on an

equal footing, in accordance with Assembly resolution 3375.  His delegation

was not, at the present time, aware of how much this call was actively supported by the participants to the Geneva Conference and other concerned parties, and to what extent it could be integrated into a programme of implementation. However, his delegation saw merit  in the Egyptian approach as this could lead to another step in the direction of bolstering the role of the PLO in the quest for peace.  In this connexion, the Committee should take into consideration the need to inject into the programme of implementation a process of negotiations, he stated.

     He said that, although the Security Council had, in January, failed to adopt a resolution, it had definitely indicated a constructive change in its approach to the inalienable rights of Palestinians.  The recent discussion in the Council in connexion with the situation in the occupied Arab territories had further strengthened this tendency and had underlined a greater awareness of the problems and a more determined support for the principles which should form a basis for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.  The Committee, he added, might explore the possibilities existing for the adoption, in due time, by the Council of a resolution which would preserve the substance of the draft presented by six Council members in January.

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Document symbol: GA/PAL/13
Document Type: Meeting record, Meeting records
Document Sources: Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
Subject: Palestine question
Publication Date: 31/03/1976