Resolution on the Middle East Peace Process

NEW DELHI COUNCIL - Social Democracy in Asia Today, 10-11 November 1997

The Socialist International Council, meeting in New Delhi, India, on 10-11 November 1997, deeply regrets the lack of progress in peace talks between Israel and the PLO, which entails a clear risk of a further escalation of violence in the Middle East. There is an urgent need to renew the negotiations and to fully implement the Oslo accords, including the Interim agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which implies further redeployments, safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, release of prisoners and the operation of the sea and air ports in Gaza.

There is a need to state, once again, that the Oslo accords are based upon the principle of Land for peace, and the implementation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338.

Serious negotiations must also start on the issues pertaining to permanent status, including a solution to the problems of settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, and borders.

Israel has a special responsibility to bring the peace process back on track by discontinuing its recent settlement policy. The New Delhi Council condemns the settlement policies of the present Israeli government, which preempt the outcome of negotiations and endanger the peace process.

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

The Council welcomes the recognition by Meretz/Mapam and the Israel Labour Party of the Palestinians' right to establish their own independent state.

The New Delhi Council condemns terrorism in the strongest terms. We cannot accept the killing of civilians, men, women and children, under whatever guise. Terror is barbarism, and no society can accept it.

The Palestinian National Authority must spare no effort to destroy terrorism and isolate the terrorists. It is not only human lives that are at stake but the peace process itself.

The New Delhi Council calls upon Israel, Syria and Lebanon, to renew the peace talks, on the basis of UN resolutions 242 and 425, in order to achieve a full and comprehensive peace agreement.

The New Delhi Council calls on all countries to stop supplying Iran, or any other state in the area, with nuclear material and know-how, so as to protect the Middle East from a nuclear arms race.

From New Delhi, in the heart of Asia, we launch an appeal to the peoples of western Asia to reach an agreement for the sake of peace in that area and in the world.

The international community has a vital role to play in the future development of the area as well as in the progress of peace negotiations. The Council emphasizes the special role of the US administration in this regard. It also underlines that the European Union, in a continent neighbouring the Middle East, with its political potential and current economic support should play an increased role in the search for peace in the area and supports in this context the proposed code of conduct and invites both parties to fully subscribe to this process.