31 March 2006

Statement by Middle East Quartet

NEW YORK, 30 March (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Middle East Quartet (United Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, United States):

The Quartet recalled its statement of 30 January and its call for the new Palestinian Government to commit to the principles of non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the "Road Map".

The Quartet welcomed President Abbas' call for the new Palestinian Government to commit to a platform of peace and, having carefully assessed the programme of the new Government approved on 28 March, noted with grave concern that the new Government has not committed to the principles spelled out on 30 January.

The Quartet recalled its view that future assistance to any new Government would be reviewed by donors against that Government's commitment to the principles outlined above.  The Quartet concurred that there inevitably will be an effect on direct assistance to that Government and its ministries.

The Quartet encouraged continued humanitarian assistance to meet the basic needs of the Palestinian people.  The Quartet noted in that context the importance of improved movement and access.

The Quartet reiterated its commitment to the principles outlined in the Road Map and previous statements, and reaffirmed its commitment to a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict leading to two democratic States living side by side in peace and security.

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