How Can The Palestinians Trust The Political Process?
During the event of the “Annual Observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”, which was held today November 29, 2011 at the UN in Vienna and attended the Ambassadors of Arab and other countries, Austrian Ambassador to the UN Dr. Friedrich Stift, on behalf of Deputy Chancellor and Federal Minister Michael Spindelegger said: “Today, I want to reassure the Palestinian people of the wholehearted support of the Austrian government on its path towards self-determination, prosperity and peace for which they have been striving for such a long time”. (Click on the pictures).
He called on the Palestinian leadership “across ideological borders” to “go beyond partisan interests and focus on a peace agreement and the establishment of democratic Palestinian State”.
He said: “we call on Palestinians to unite around a platform that confirms generally accepted principles of a meaningful peace process like non-violence, mutual recognition and commitment to existing agreements. As long as the Israeli public lives in fear from threat against civil targets, skepticism and mistrust will be constant features of any negotiations and will stand in the way of decisive progress”.
He added: “The same is true for continued Israeli settlement construction on occupied land and for the erection of the separation barrier that prevents many Palestinians from freely reaching their own land. Neither of both can be reconciled with meaningful negotiation over a two-state solution”.
Ambassador Stift asked: “How should the Palestinian public trust the political process, when the land that is supposed to become their state is being seized in front of their eyes?”
“Citizens all over the Arab world no longer want to be denied their democratic rights and the liberty to shape their own future. The Israeli and the Palestinian people also must no longer be deprived of the fruits of peace and the hope of prosperity for all future generations”.
Let me assure you that the Middle East will remain a constant focus of the foreign policy agenda of Austria and the European Union up until the fulfillment of the legitimate expectations of either side, namely
- The establishment of an independent, democratic and viable state, on the Palestinian side, and
- Guarantees to the right of living in peace and security within internationally recognized borders, on the Israeli side.