New York, 22. September 2011 Press release

Spindelegger: "The Middle East spiral of frustration is turning ever faster"

Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and President Heinz Fischer meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

New York, 22 September 2011 – “President Abbas and the Palestinian leadership, are ready to take on their share of the responsibility for the Middle East peace process”, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said following joint discussions he and Austrian President Heinz Fischer held with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. The Foreign Minister had previously met with Nabil El-Araby, Secretary General of the Arab League and with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ali Amr for bilateral discussions. The Foreign Minister also has discussions with the foreign ministers of Israel and Jordan on his agenda over the next few days.

“The Middle East has a number of lost years behind it. The spiral of frustration is turning ever faster and could rapidly lead to violence. The most important objective must thus remain a swift return to serious negotiations on implementing the two-state solution. The EU and its quartet partners are working intensively on suggestions that will recognise the progress the Palestinians have made in the development of their future state, without making demands on the Israeli government that cannot be fulfilled”, Spindelegger said.

The principle donor organisations such as the World Bank and United Nations organisations have confirmed the successful work done by the Palestinians in the context of developing the efficient structures required by a state. At the same time no tangible progress has been made with regard to the major political issues such as inter-Palestinian reconciliation and above all the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “These political troughs put at risk a successful conclusion to the development of a Palestinian state. Ultimately the Gordian knot of the Middle East can only be untied in Jerusalem and Ramallah and not in New York”, Spindelegger said.

For further inquiries please contact
the Press Department at the Austrian Foreign Ministry:
Bundesministerium für europäische
und internationale Angelegenheiten
Presseabteilung
Phone.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
E-mail: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at