As part of its regular programme of meetings, the SI Middle East Committee (SIMEC) met at Casablanca on Friday, 7 April, to examine developments in the situation in the Middle East to assess the progress of the peace process in the region.
Having examined recent developments in the Arab-Israeli peace process in all its aspects, and having reviewed the advances made, the difficulties encountered and the prospects held out, the Committee:
Recalls the positions adopted by the SI on the various aspects of the Middle East peace process, positions given formal expression by the SI Congress held in Paris on 8-10 November 1999;
Expresses its satisfaction at the progress made since then in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and the progress made by both parties in the Wye River and Sharm-el-Sheikh Accords, in particular the implementation of the second Israeli redeployment on the West Bank;
Takes positive note of the resumption of the final negotiation process, and urges the two parties, the Israelis and the Palestinians, to adhere to the timetable laid down for the conclusion of the final round of negotiations;
Reaffirms its determination that the peace process, in all its aspects, should be conducted in accordance with the principles and on the basis of international law and mutual security, and strictly respecting resolutions 242, 338 and 425 of the United Nations Security Council, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and of the Oslo Accords, and all undertakings given and agreements reached between the parties;
Calls upon the Israelis to put an end to settlement activities in the Palestinian Territories, in accordance with the undertakings given in the context of the Oslo Accords, and urges the two parties to refrain from any unilateral measures that would preempt or prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations.
Invites the two parties to intensify their efforts and their determination in the current negotiations regarding the third redeployment on the West Bank and other pending issues of the Interim Agreement so as to bring to a positive conclusion the transitional phase and to enter into the final round of negotiations in better conditions;
Invites the two parties to display flexibility and creativity in approaching the complex and delicate issues on the agenda of permanent status negotiations.
Insists on the importance of dialogue at all levels of both civil societies involved, and calls upon the international community to help foster and promote people-to-people activities.
Reiterates the vital importance of providing economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority, of encouraging regional economic cooperation, and of providing assistance, in every field, to help improve the living standards of the Palestinian people;
Renews its call that Israel and Syria resume negotiations with a view to defining a framework for the building of peace and invites the two parties to find a just and lasting solution in accordance with the resolutions of the UN and the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference;
Takes formal note of the declaration of the government of Israel regarding Israeli withdrawal, this coming July, from the territories occupied in Southern Lebanon, and urges the Israeli government to adhere scrupulously to the provisions of resolution 425 of the UN, to which this withdrawal must conform;
Recalls the decision of the SI Congress in Paris on 8-10 November 1999 recommending that the Presidium, in collaboration with SIMEC, set up a high level delegation to the region, including Syria and Lebanon, as early as possible in order to enhance the peace process.
Reaffirms the commitment of the SI and of its Middle East Committee to its steadfast activity in the promotion of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, in accordance with international law, the resolutions of the UN and the fundamental principle of "Land for peace".
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Chair of SIMEC
Bjørn Tore Godal
Secretary General of Socialist International
Socialist Party, PS
Socialist Party, PS
Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD
Israel Labour Party
Democrats of the Left, DS
Progressive Socialist Party, PSP
Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP
Hamid Bel Kadi
Rachid Ben Abdellah
Aïcha Ben Larbi
Mohammed Ait Kaddour
Boughaleb El Attar
Norwegian Labour Party, DNA
TERRITORIES UNDER PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY, PALESTINE
Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE
Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
Constitutional Democratic Assembly, RCD
Parliamentary Group of the PES
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