Working for peace and democracy in the Middle East

ATHENS COUNCIL - Peace, Democracy, Solidarity: among peoples, across cultures, 30-31 January 2006

The Socialist International commends the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people for the peaceful and orderly way in which the Palestinian legislative elections were carried out and expresses its appreciation for the way in which its member party, Fatah, accepted the results of the elections. At the same time, it remains deeply concerned by the incidents that have occurred in recent days following the vote.

The International reaffirms that the peace process begun in Oslo, the Roadmap and the return to serious negotiations to achieve a two-state solution based on mutual recognition, on justice and respect for human rights, and on international law and agreements already signed, remain the only way to overcome stalemate, end violence and achieve a lasting peace. In this context we also encourage public initiatives such as the Peace Coalition Geneva draft.

While noting the evolution of the programme of Hamas, the Socialist International remains concerned that its positions continue to contradict what is needed to achieve peace and calls upon Hamas to continue the path towards a peaceful resolution, to respect earlier negotiated agreements, to revoke their position calling for the destruction of Israel and renounce terrorism and violence.

The Socialist International urges the international community to continue its engagement with the Palestinian people, avoiding measures that would increase the people’s suffering, and welcomes the Quartet’s decision to continue to give aid to the Palestinians on condition that Hamas comply with prior agreements made with the Palestinian Authority.

The International reiterates its call to its member parties in the region to strengthen their dialogue and political cooperation, and reaffirms that it will continue in every way possible to support the peace process and all those working to see that it succeeds, continuing to take initiatives in this regard.

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