Middle East Quartet Statement

The Quar­tet expressed its strong sup­port for the resump­tion of Israeli-Pales­tin­ian nego­ti­a­tions, which can resolve all final sta­tus issues with­in one year. The Quar­tet reaf­firmed its full com­mit­ment to its pre­vi­ous state­ments, which pro­vide that nego­ti­a­tions should lead to an agree­ment that ends the occu­pa­tion that began in 1967 and results in the emer­gence of an inde­pen­dent, demo­c­ra­t­ic, con­tigu­ous, and viable Pales­tin­ian state liv­ing side-by-side in peace and secu­ri­ty with Israel and its oth­er neigh­bors. The Quar­tet also con­firmed its deter­mi­na­tion to sup­port the par­ties through­out the nego­ti­a­tions and in the imple­men­ta­tion of an agree­ment.

Not­ing that mutu­al trust and con­fi­dence are crit­i­cal to suc­cess­ful nego­ti­a­tions, the Quar­tet reit­er­at­ed its call on Israel and the Pales­tini­ans to pro­mote an envi­ron­ment con­ducive to progress, includ­ing by refrain­ing from provoca­tive actions and inflam­ma­to­ry rhetoric. The Quar­tet not­ed that the com­mend­able Israeli set­tle­ment mora­to­ri­um insti­tut­ed last Novem­ber has had a pos­i­tive impact and urged its con­tin­u­a­tion. The Quar­tet recalled that uni­lat­er­al actions by either par­ty, includ­ing set­tle­ment activ­i­ty, can­not pre­judge the out­come of nego­ti­a­tions and will not be rec­og­nized by the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty. The Quar­tet called upon both sides to ful­fill their oblig­a­tions under the Road Map. The Quar­tet encour­aged the par­ties to work togeth­er to find a way to ensure that nego­ti­a­tions con­tin­ue in a con­struc­tive man­ner and urged the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to sup­port their efforts.

The Quar­tet under­scored its com­mit­ment to a just, last­ing, and com­pre­hen­sive Mid­dle East peace, includ­ing Israeli-Syr­i­an and Israeli-Lebanese agree­ments. In the spir­it of the Arab Peace Ini­tia­tive, the Quar­tet called on Arab states to sup­port Israeli-Pales­tin­ian nego­ti­a­tions and progress on the oth­er tracks by tak­ing bold­er steps to fos­ter pos­i­tive rela­tions through­out the region and to com­bat vio­lence and extremism.

Recall­ing that change on the ground is inte­gral to peace, the Quar­tet reaf­firmed its sup­port for the Pales­tin­ian Authority’s August 2009 plan for build­ing the insti­tu­tions of a Pales­tin­ian state with­in two years. The Quar­tet com­mend­ed the sig­nif­i­cant progress toward that goal as report­ed by inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions to the 21 Sep­tem­ber 2010 meet­ing of the Ad Hoc Liai­son Com­mit­tee. The Quar­tet took par­tic­u­lar note of state­ment in the Eco­nom­ic Mon­i­tor­ing Report of the World Bank that “If the Pales­tin­ian Author­i­ty main­tains its cur­rent per­for­mance in insti­tu­tion-build­ing and deliv­ery of pub­lic ser­vices, it is well-posi­tioned for the estab­lish­ment of a state at any point in the near future.”

The Quar­tet called for Israel to take fur­ther steps to facil­i­tate Pales­tin­ian state-build­ing and eco­nom­ic growth. The Quar­tet wel­comed mea­sures Israel has already tak­en to improve day-to-day life for Pales­tini­ans, includ­ing the eas­ing of restric­tions on move­ment in the West Bank and improved Gaza access, and com­mend­ed the work of the Quar­tet Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in help­ing to achieve that change. The Quar­tet fur­ther called upon Arab states and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty to pro­vide imme­di­ate and sus­tained sup­port for the Pales­tin­ian Authority.

The Quar­tet reaf­firmed that the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in Gaza is not in the inter­ests of Pales­tini­ans or Israelis and restat­ed its desire to see progress on the imple­men­ta­tion of all aspects of Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion 1860. Recon­firm­ing its state­ment of 21 June 2010 the Quar­tet wel­comed the sig­nif­i­cant shift in Israel’s Gaza pol­i­cy since June 2010 and called for fur­ther efforts by all con­cerned to ensure the unim­ped­ed flow of human­i­tar­i­an aid, com­mer­cial goods, and per­sons to and from Gaza and to address Israel’s legit­i­mate secu­ri­ty con­cerns. The Quar­tet also took pos­i­tive note of approvals of UN and oth­er inter­na­tion­al projects in Gaza and expressed its desire to see fur­ther progress in the near future. The Quar­tet reit­er­at­ed its sup­port for efforts to restore Pales­tin­ian uni­ty based on the com­mit­ments of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Orga­ni­za­tion. The Quar­tet con­demned in the strongest pos­si­ble terms con­tin­u­ing vio­lence against Israeli and Pales­tin­ian civil­ians, in par­tic­u­lar the 31 August 2010 attack near Hebron, for which Hamas claimed respon­si­bil­i­ty while threat­en­ing addi­tion­al attacks. The Quar­tet urged a com­plete halt to all vio­lence and reit­er­at­ed its call on all par­ties to ensure the pro­tec­tion of civil­ians and to respect inter­na­tion­al human­i­tar­i­an and human rights law. The Quar­tet reit­er­at­ed its call for the imme­di­ate release of Israeli sol­dier Gilad Shalit.

The Quar­tet com­mit­ted to remain active­ly involved on all tracks and to encour­age and review progress. The Quar­tet agreed to meet reg­u­lar­ly and to task the envoys and the Quar­tet Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to inten­si­fy their coop­er­a­tion, to main­tain con­tacts with the Arab League Com­mit­tee on the Arab Peace Ini­tia­tive, and to for­mu­late rec­om­men­da­tions for Quar­tet action. The Quar­tet reaf­firmed its sup­port, in con­sul­ta­tion with the par­ties, for an inter­na­tion­al con­fer­ence in Moscow at the appro­pri­ate time, con­cur­rent with direct negotiations. 

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