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Saturday, December 1, 2012
The Elders welcome UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: The following is a complete list of balanced
statements by the "Elders" on Arab-Israeli matters: ]

Press release
29 November 2012

The Elders welcome UN recognition of Palestine as an observer state
http://theelders.org/article/elders-welcome-un-recognition-palestine-observer-state

“The UN vote can be a catalyst for genuine negotiations between Israel and
Palestine on a more equal footing” – Jimmy Carter

The Elders commend today's vote to recognise Palestine as a non-member
observer state, and express their hope that this result will represent an
important step towards peace and security for all Palestinians and Israelis.

The Elders congratulate the Palestinian people on reaching a significant
milestone today in their long quest for statehood. In granting Palestine the
status of a non-member observer state, by a clear majority, the United
Nations General Assembly has displayed a bold act of international
leadership.

The Elders believe that the UN vote will help to safeguard the two-state
solution and serve to enhance prospects for future negotiations and peace in
the region.

Desmond Tutu , Chair of The Elders, said:

“We wholeheartedly welcome the recognition of Palestine as an observer state
by the United Nations. Sixty-five years after the UN recommended the
establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state side by side on former
Mandatory Palestine, the world has finally taken an important step on the
Palestinian part of its promise.”

Mary Robinson , former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner
for Human Rights, said:

“Once the dust has settled, this will be seen as an historic vote in favour
of peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis. It was also a vote
for human rights and the rule of law. We congratulate President Mahmoud
Abbas for pursuing this diplomatic, peaceful route towards the
globally-agreed objective of Palestinian statehood, one that is fully in
line with UN resolutions and international law. ”

The Elders urge all parties to refrain from taking punitive measures against
the Palestinians for pursuing their legitimate UN bid, and hope Palestinians
and Israelis will put aside cynicism and see the UN vote as a step forward
for their mutual goals of peace, security and national sovereignty.

Gro Harlem Brundtland , former Prime Minister of Norway, said:

“The recognition of Palestine as a state by the General Assembly has the
potential to change the current dynamic in the Middle East. It is a
reaffirmation that the two-state solution remains the only long-term path to
peace between Palestinians and Israelis, at a time when the expansion of
illegal Israeli settlements is taking us ever closer to a one-state
outcome. ”

Jimmy Carter , former President of the United States, said:

“The international community now has a duty to turn this significant step by
the UN into lasting peace in the Middle East. It should encourage Fatah and
Hamas to reconcile their differences and work together for Palestinian
unity. World powers and concerned regional states should not overlook the
centrality of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to other tensions in the
world. The UN vote can be a catalyst for genuine negotiations between Israel
and Palestine on a more equal footing. ”

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