Declaration on the Middle East
ROME COUNCIL, 21-22 January 1997
Since its early days in Madrid, the peace process in the Middle East has made considerable progress. The Declaration of Principles and the Interim Agreements signed by Israel and the PLO in Washington constitute a major breakthrough on the road to a lasting peace. The Socialist International welcomes the recent developments, particularly the agreement on Hebron, and congratulates the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority for this very important achievement which will lead to the full implementation of the Oslo Agreements in accordance with the principles of the Madrid Conference.
The Socialist International congratulates its members, the Israel Labour Party, MAPAM and FATAH, who have been the champions of the peace agreement and the last agreement on Hebron.
The Socialist International also congratulates the government of the United States, President Mubarak and King Hussein, who mediated between the parties and who were instrumental in achieving this agreement, and it welcomes the increased political role of the European Union.
In order to achieve peace in the Middle East, it is necessary to count on continuing world support, including the European community which has shown how historic enmities can give way to economic and political cooperation.
The Socialist International has always supported the peace process and will continue to support in the future the efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, and the historic reconciliation between Israel, the Palestinians and the Arab states.
In this significant moment it is of crucial importance to renew the talks between Israel on one hand and Syria and Lebanon on the other. Those talks should be based on the principle of land for peace and on the Security Council resolutions 242, 338 and 425 which must lead to a peace agreement.
Particular attention must be paid to the issue of terrorism which is supported by some political forces and states in the area. The Socialist International pays tribute to the efforts made by the Palestinian Authority in this field.
The Socialist International reaffirms the paramount importance of the affirmation and respect of human rights and democracy throughout the region, which implies as a priority the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination.