Roadmap ambitious but achievable, says GoffForeign Affairs and Trade
Foreign Minister Phil Goff today welcomed the release of the three-phase Roadmap designed to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
"It's time to break the vicious cycle of violence and retaliation, where each new killing further entrenches the bitterness and hatred on each side," Mr Goff said.
"Israel has the prospect of achieving secure and recognised borders, and an end to terrorism. The Palestinian people have the chance to achieve self-determination within a state of their own; to end the many violent deaths they too have endured, and to achieve desperately needed social and economic progress.
“The Roadmap is provides a realistic and verifiable approach to achieving a two-state solution by 2005," Mr Goff said.
“New Zealand commends the combined work of the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia in addressing the long-standing conflict.
“Their joint efforts have demonstrated the usefulness of the Quartet in developing and monitoring a practical peace plan in the Middle East.
“We urge both sides to take this opportunity to fully commit themselves to working towards peace by adopting the Quartet’s proposals wholeheartedly. The phased approach should be embraced constructively, as a means to ensure the main issues are addressed. Both sides will gain by giving,” Mr Goff said.
"Extreme elements on either side must not be allowed, by provoking or taking violent action, to deflect the resolve of leaders on both sides to set aside entrenched attitudes and move forward.
“I welcome the recent appointment of the Palestinian Prime Minister and Cabinet, which addressed the call of their own people for reform and triggered the first phase of the plan,” Mr Goff said.
"Not only does the Roadmap offer the best prospect of resolving Israeli and Palestinian differences, it also offers the opportunity to promote a wider and comprehensive peace by setting the scene for Israeli negotiations with their Syrian and Lebanese neighbours.
“All New Zealanders will want to see the promise of peace fulfilled, and the release of the Roadmap is a vital step in bringing about that aim.”
BACKGROUND NOTE: THE ROADMAP
The Roadmap envisages a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israel-Palestinian conflict by 2005.
It seeks a two-state solution, with the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.
Based on three phases of performance and goals, the Roadmap has clear phases, timelines, target dates, and benchmarks aiming at progress through a series of reciprocal steps by the two parties.
Phase I: Ending Terror And Violence, Normalising Palestinian Life, and Building Palestinian Institutions. (May 2003)
Phase II: Transition – Creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders and attributes of sovereignty, based on the new constitution. (June 2003-December 2003)
Phase III: Permanent Status Agreement and End of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. (2004-2005)
The plan establishes a realistic timeline for implementation. However, as a performance-based plan, progress will require and depend upon the good faith efforts of the parties, and their compliance with each of the obligations.
This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace in the area, including the Syrian-Israeli and Lebanese-Israeli borders.
The Roadmap was developed by the “Quartet” - the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia - which will monitor and coordinate the achievement of each phase.