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01-02 July 2011

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ATHENS COUNCIL: Arab world - Middle East peace - nuclear energy

01-02 July 2011


Recalling the SI resolution on the Middle East adopted in Santo Domingo in November 2009 and the SI Council statement on the Middle East agreed in New York in June 2010,

The SI Council, meeting in Athens on 1-2 July 2011, reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and reaffirms its commitment, in accordance with international law, to support the ending of the Israeli occupation that started in 1967 in order to achieve the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine. This Palestinian state should exist side by side with the Israeli state in peace and security.

The SI Council expresses the urgent need for the resumption and accelerated advancement of negotiations towards the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement by ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory that began in 1967, on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions, especially of the Security Council, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference, and the Arab Peace Initiative;

In this regard, the SI Council reaffirms that Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a gross violation of international law, and a major obstacle to peace; and reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities, including so-called “natural growth”, the cessation of the construction and dismantlement of the Israeli wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem as well as the cessation of all other unilateral measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the City and of the Territory as a whole, in order to allow for the resumption of a credible peace process to resolve core issues including the refugee issue in accordance with international law and UN resolution 194;

The SI Council calls on the two sides to renew negotiations with a view to reaching a permanent agreement leading to the end of occupation and the creation of a Palestinian State, within the framework of a total freeze of settlements, while refraining from unilateral actions.

Failing this, the SI Council supports the recognition of the State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem as its capital, and calls on all governments for the support of the Palestine state building efforts as well as the admission of the State of Palestine to the United Nations in its upcoming General Assembly session;

The SI Council welcomes and supports the Palestinian reconciliation agreement, which is key to peace and democracy, and calls for the recognition of and cooperation with the Palestinian unity government on the reconciliation agreement;

The SI Council calls on all parties to renounce violence and accept all agreements arrived at with the PLO;

The SI Council welcomes the “Arab Spring”, brought on by the success of peaceful popular movements in the region seeking freedom democracy and social justice as legitimate aspirations of the people of the region. In this regard, the SI Council supports the Palestinian peaceful struggle to end occupation and achieve freedom and self-determination and calls on Israel to stop any form of violence and suppression against the Palestinian none-violent demonstrations and their leaders.

The SI Council will continue its efforts with the parties concerned towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region.