Vienna, 29 July 2013 Press release

Spindelegger: "Trust-building will be a mammoth task of Middle East talks in Washington"

Austria's Foreign Minister on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Vienna, 29 July 2013 – "This is the first positive sign in years from the Middle East. The negotiating table is the only place to find solutions that will be suited to guarantee life in peace and prosperity for the current and future generations of Israelis and Palestinians. The political representatives who are to meet in Washington to strive for such a solution bear high, in fact historic, responsibility", Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said in his comment on the announcement that the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would be resumed this week in the USA.

"The outlines of a sustainable solution have already been roughly drafted – it is about an agreement on shared and safe borders, about the fate of Palestinian refugees and Israeli settlers, and about designing Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. Even though the factual issues have long been put on the table, the negotiators are still facing a mammoth task. First they will have to gradually restore mutual trust that has been lost in the past; and only if they succeed in doing so, will negotiations be successful", the Austrian Foreign Minister continued.

"Austria and the European Union will make use of all political options and dedicate their efforts to the search for a fair solution in the Middle East. We must not allow the investment of two decades of peace process since 1993 go to waste. All parties and stakeholders will have to look beyond their own short-term vested interests and focus on the historic goal of lasting peace. This applies to all members of the Israeli government coalition but also to the divided Palestinian politicians", Spindelegger said in conclusion referring to the many sceptics on both sides.

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