Security Council welcomes resumption of direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians

In a statement read out at an open meeting by Ambassador Joel W. Adechi of Benin, the Council President for February, the 15-member body underscored the understandings reached by the parties, “in particular that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere and that Israel will cease all its military activities against all Palestinians everywhere,” and called for the “full respect by the parties of their commitments in this regard.”The statement said the Council “recognizes these understandings, along with other recent positive developments, as primary steps towards restoring confidence between the two parties and as a significant opportunity to enhance a new spirit of cooperation and to promote an atmosphere conducive to the establishment of peace and coexistence in the region.”The statement also expressed the Council’s appreciation to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for the invitation to both parties to the summit, and to King Abdullah II of Jordan for his participation in the meeting on 8 February in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.”The Security Council commends the role being played by Egypt and Jordan in facilitating a successful resumption of dialogue between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority within the framework of the Road Map,” it said, referring to a peace plan for the Middle East sponsored by the UN, European Union, the Russian Federation and the United States – the so-called Quartet – that calls for a series of parallel and reciprocal steps by both sides leading to two States living side by side in peace by the end of this year.The Council welcomed the initiative of the United Kingdom Government in convening an international meeting on 1 March in London to support Palestinian efforts to prepare the ground for a viable Palestinian state, as well as the upcoming talks between the Quartet in the margins of that meeting.

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