Resolution on the Middle East

Meeting of the Socialist International Middle East Committee, SIMEC, Ramallah and Tel Aviv, 14-15 May 1997

The Socialist International Middle East Committee, SIMEC, having met in Ramallah and Tel Aviv on 14-15 May 1997, declares:

- SIMEC deeply regrets the stalemate in the Middle East peace process. Lack of progress entails a clear risk of further escalation of violence in the region and an undermining of the forces of peace. Every effort must now be made to revitalise that process.

- The Oslo Accords must be respected and fully implemented by both parties.

- Israel has a special responsibility to bring the peace process back on track by not continuing with the construction at Har Homa. SIMEC condemns the settlement policies of the present Israeli government which endangers the peace process. Israel must also undertake to fulfil its obligations regarding the safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank, the operation of Gaza Airport, the construction of the Gaza Port, the release of prisoners and further redeployment.

- A serious and constructive beginning must be made to permanent-status negotiations, to achieve a durable and mutually acceptable peace between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, on the basis of the implementation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which embody the principle of Land for Peace. The Committee emphasises the need to engage into serious dialogue on all outstanding issues.

- Security cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis must be resumed whatever the circumstances. Security is a common concern for all. 

- Suitable confidence-building measures must be devised so that the parties can gradually begin to develop a minimum of confidence necessary to relaunch the negotiations.

- The international community has a vital stake in the future development of the Middle East. The United States, the European Union and all interested parties are urged to redouble their efforts to bring the parties back to the negotiating table and to ensure momentum in the negotiations.

- The Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese negotiations, on the basis of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 425, must be resumed.

- International economic assistance in support of the Palestinian Authority must be continued and increased as a vital contribution to the construction in the Palestinian areas of a viable and democratic society respectful of fundamental human rights.

- SIMEC congratulates the Congress of the Israel Labour Party which decided to recognise the proposition of the creation of a Palestinian state. SIMEC also refers to the longstanding decision of Mapam/Meretz in this respect.

- The Socialist International Middle East Committee, having met these last two days in Ramallah and Tel Aviv, recalling its longstanding commitment to and historic role in bringing together the parties in the peace process, renews, at this critical stage, its firm intention to continue working for a just and lasting peace in the region.

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