PACE sub-committee to invite Palestinian Legislative Council delegation to Strasbourg
Strasbourg, 15.03.2006 – The Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today held an exchange of views on the possible establishment of a Tripartite Forum, in accordance with Assembly Resolution 1420 (2005), which would allow 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 action.
In conclusion, the Sub-Committee unanimously agreed to invite a delegation of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including a member of Hamas, to its next meeting which will be held during the April part-session (10-13 April 2006).
"We cannot ignore the legitimate outcome of the parliamentary elections which took place on 25 January 2006," said the Sub-Committee's Chairperson Stef Goris (Belgium, ADLE). "We all agree that the elections were fair and free. Therefore, we have to accept the democratically expressed will of the Palestinian people and do our best to involve those who won the elections in the political dialogue which could contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict."