Critical Moment For Peace Process Says Mckinnon

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs and Trade

Foreign Minister Don McKinnon today called for wise heads to prevail at this critical juncture in the Middle East peace process.

Mr McKinnon was speaking following separate talks this week with the Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand, and the Head of the Palestine Delegation to Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

During the talks he appealed to both parties to stand steady in their commitment to the peace process, particularly in the face of a spate of terrorist attacks in Israel.

"The agreement reached at last month's peace process negotiations at Wye Plantation must be allowed a chance," the Minister said.

"The sacrifices and commitments entered into by both parties represent a significant advance along the difficult path towards a peaceful settlement. That process must be allowed to continue.

"It is an unfortunate reality that there are citizens in both camps who don't want peace - who have never wanted peace - and who are prepared to jeopardise the search for peace at any price.

"But it is also true that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians do want an end to the conflict, and do want to live in peace with their neighbours.

"Wiser heads must prevail. The hard-won Wye Agreement must be given a chance. Both sides must press ahead with its implementation."