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THE ISRAEL REPORT

March/April 2000
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ASIAN MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE CONCLUDES IN VIET NAM;
ADOPTS HANOI DECLARATION

3 March 2000


At the closing session of the Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine, held in Hanoi from 1 to 3 March, participants adopted the Hanoi Declaration which proclaimed their broad and determined commitment to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. The Hanoi Declaration was read out by Walter Balzan, Rapporteur of the Committee.

Nguyen Tam Chien, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, said the Meeting represented another vivid demonstration of the solidarity and strong support by the international community, and Asia in particular, for the just cause of the Palestinian people. Having endured great hardships and sacrifices for peace and national independence, the Vietnamese people had always understood and shared in the difficulties and hardships facing the Palestinian people. He expressed the hope that the Palestinian people would soon regain its legitimate national rights, and he welcomed and supported international and regional efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East and a satisfactory solution to the Palestinian question.

Suleiman Alnajjab, Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Special Envoy of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, expressed his organization's gratitude to the Vietnamese Government and its people for their on-going support and for hosting this important Meeting. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had worked tirelessly for the cause of the Palestinian people. Mr. Alnajjab thanked the experts and delegates at the Meeting and the people of Asia for their deep understanding and solidarity they had shown in support of the Palestinian struggle.

On behalf of the Committee, its Chairman Ibra Deguène Ka expressed his deep gratitude to the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam for hosting the Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine in Hanoi. Viet Nam had demonstrated its solid commitment to and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people, and for the objectives of the United Nations. The warm hospitality and friendliness of the Vietnamese people had made the visit to Hanoi a truly memorable experience.

The full text of the Hanoi Declaration is as follows:
Hanoi Declaration

We, the participants of the United Nations Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine, held under the theme "Achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people – a key to peace in the Middle East," in Hanoi, City of Peace, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, declare:
our broad and determined commitment to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State;

that Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, as well as other Arab territories, must be brought to an end without delay and that mutual recognition and peaceful coexistence must be given the opportunity to flourish;

that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which embody the principle of land for peace and form the legal basis for the Middle East peace process, must be adhered to;

that the recent breakdown in the permanent status talks puts the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a critical stage. The lack of progress in the full and strict implementation of the Wye River and Sharm el-Sheikh agreements as well as the continuation of settlement activities are a cause of great concern and threaten to jeopardize the peace negotiations;

that in view of the continued settlement activities, the United Nations and the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention should play an effective role to reconvene the Conference of the High Contracting Parties;

that Governments, intergovernmental organizations, parliamentarians and civil society organizations, particularly Asian non-governmental organizations, exert all efforts to support the peace process and its successful conclusion;

that the deadline of September 2000 to achieve a permanent status agreement in accordance with the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum and the international consensus which was developed at the end of the five-year transition last May, should be observed;

that the United Nations should grant full membership to Palestine to enable it to participate fully in the United Nations Millennium Summit to be held on 6 September 2000. The Summit marks an opportunity for a moral recommitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter and new political momentum for international cooperation;

that Asian States, having had a unique experience in their struggle for decolonization and national sovereignty, should continue their moral, political and material support for the exercise of the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. We welcome the long-standing commitment of Asian States to the peace process, particularly the efforts to achieve a permanent peace settlement between Palestinians and Israelis;

our appreciation to H. E. Mr. Tran Duc Luong, President of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam; H. E. Mr. Phan Van Khai, Prime Minister of Viet Nam; H. E. Mr. Nguyen Dy Nien, Foreign Minister of Viet Nam; H. E. Mr. Chu Tuan Nha, Minister for Science, Technology and Environment of Viet Nam; and to the Government of Viet Nam for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the United Nations Secretariat in the preparation.
We salute the struggle for independence and the right to self-determination of the people of Viet Nam. We thank the people of Hanoi for their warmth and hospitality and for their assistance with the Meeting.
Hanoi, 3 March 2000


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