Vienna, 9 November 2012 Press release

Lopatka: “Direct dialogue is the driving force for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”

Austrian State Secretary encourages PLO representative Ashrawi to unite the Palestinians

Vienna, 9 November 2012 – “We hope to see a resumption of the talks between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) on a permanent peace solution in the Middle East, but miss at present the unconditional readiness for a serious negotiation process“, State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said following his discussions with Hanan Ashrawi, the long serving parliamentarian and the first woman in the PLO Executive Committee.

“Palestinian political forces must establish a basic consensus on a constitutional and democratic legal system and on the principles for a peaceful solution with Israel. Without political agreement of this kind all efforts to achieve an independent state are doomed to failure. We acknowledge the great progress that has been made under current Prime Minister Fayyad, a party colleague of Hanan Ashrawi. Hamas is called upon to make use of the agreements reached with President Abbas as a step away from violence to a broad political process“, Lopatka said.

“Simultaneously, Israel must put an end to its policy of creating established facts on Palestinian territory. The constantly growing Israeli settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are destroying trust in a political process, while continuation of the closure policy is preventing economic and social development“, the State Secretary said. Austria and the EU will not recognise any changes to the borders of 1967 that have not been made as the result of negotiations.

“Our efforts continue to be dedicated to implementation of a two state solution with Israel and Palestine as peaceful neighbours. The EU and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton will do everything possible in cooperation with the USA and the two other partners in the Quartet on the Middle East to bring the conflict parties back to the negotiating table“, Lopatka concluded.


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