Meeting of the Socialist International Middle East Committee, Ramallah and Tel Aviv

23 September 2003

Latest developments in the Middle East affecting the peace process in the region were at the centre of the discussions held at a meeting of SIMEC on Tuesday 23 September in Ramallah and Tel Aviv.

The first session in Ramallah included the participation of Yasser Arafat, President of the Palestinian Authority; Abu Alaa, Prime Minister designate; Abbas Zaki, Head of the International Relations Department of Fatah, and other members of the leadership of Fatah, a member party of the International.

Later in Tel Aviv in the afternoon, a second session of the Committee was held with the participation of representatives of the member parties of the International in Israel, including Shimon Peres, Leader of the Israeli Labour Party, along with Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Efraim Sneh, Colette Avital, Abraham Hatzamri and other members; and delegates from Meretz, including Naomi Chazan, International Secretary, Roy Yellin, Latif Dori and Sagit Vazan.

Members of the SI participating in the meetings included the Chair of SIMEC, Thorbjørn Jagland; Luis Ayala, SI Secretary General and representatives from SI members in Austria, Belgium, Chile, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The discussions underlined the Socialist International full commitment to overcome the obstacles to peace and for an early resumption of dialogue to progress with the agreed roadmap. These discussions will continue in the International at the forthcoming XXII SI Congress in S„o Paulo on 27-29 October.