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Saturday, September 27, 2008
Quartet Statement rejects right of Israeli electorate to change negotiating positions via ballot box

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:
When U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice got together with her
colleagues and issued a statement, they decided, in light of the changes
taking place in Israel and the possibility that either as a result of
understandings and commitments FM Livni has to make in order to form a
coalition - or the victory of Netanyahu should there end up being snap
elections, to let the democratic Jewish State know that as far as Ms. Rice
and the rest are concerned that they could give a damn about the Israeli
democratic process.

" importance of confidentiality in order to preserve its integrity" = the
Israeli public and Shas has no business knowing what Israel has already put
on the table

"The Quartet underlined its commitment to the irreversibility of the
negotiations" = what Olmert put down on the table, Livni or Netanyahu can't
take back.]

Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 26, 2008


Quartet Statement
The following statement was issued today by the Middle East Quartet (United
Nations, European Union, Russian Federation, and the United States):

Begin Text:

Representatives of the Quartet - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,
High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European
Union Javier Solana, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita
Ferrero-Waldner and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner - met today in
New York to discuss the situation in the Middle East. They were joined by
Quartet Representative Tony Blair.

The Quartet reaffirmed its support for the bilateral and comprehensive
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and commended the parties for their serious
and continuous efforts since the Annapolis Conference. The Quartet
recognized that a meaningful and results-oriented process is underway and
called upon the parties to continue to make every effort to conclude an
agreement before the end of 2008. It noted the significance of this process
and the importance of confidentiality in order to preserve its integrity.
The Quartet underlined its commitment to the irreversibility of the
negotiations; to the creation of an independent, democratic and viable
Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, living in peace and security
alongside Israel; and to an end to the conflict. The Quartet expressed its
desire to see the continuation of the solid negotiating structure, involving
substantive discussions on all issues, including core issues without
exception, in order to ensure the fulfillment of the Annapolis goals. The
Quartet reiterated its previous call for all Palestinians to commit
themselves to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of
previous agreements and obligations. Restoring Palestinian unity based on
the PLO commitments would be an important factor in this process.

The Quartet emphasized the need for a renewed focus on improvements in the
situation on the ground and stated that visible and tangible progress must
accompany the negotiations. The Quartet commended the Palestinian Authority
for the encouraging results of its efforts to reform the security sector, to
confront militias and terrorism, and to enforce the rule of law in areas
subject to its security control. The Quartet commended recent measures by
the Israeli government to lift restrictions on access and movement and
encouraged further steps to ease conditions for Palestinian civilian life
and the economy. The Quartet called on the parties to re-double their
cooperative efforts on security to ensure that both Israelis and
Palestinians live in peace and safety. In particular, the Quartet urged the
parties to continue cooperation in order to expand the success observed in
Jenin to other major centers in the West Bank and called on the
international community, including regional partners, to support these
efforts with targeted and coordinated assistance and through the continued
efforts of Quartet Representative Blair. The Quartet called for speedy
implementation of the outcome of the Berlin conference and invited all
donors to fulfill the pledges made at the Paris conference in line with the
Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. It welcomed the September 22
statement of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and recalled the importance of
equitable burden-sharing.

The Quartet discussed the status of the parties' obligations under the
Roadmap as an integral part of Annapolis follow-up. The Quartet expressed
deep concern about increasing settlement activity, which has a damaging
impact on the negotiating environment and is an impediment to economic
recovery, and called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including
natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. In this
regard, the Quartet reiterated that the parties must avoid actions that
undermine confidence and could prejudice the outcome of the negotiations.
Quartet Principals condemned the recent rise in settler violence against
Palestinian civilians, urging the enforcement of the rule of law without
discrimination or exception. The Quartet also condemned acts of terrorism
against Israelis, including any rocket attacks emanating from the
Palestinian territories, and stressed the need for further Palestinian
efforts to fight terrorism and dismantle the infrastructure of terror, as
well as foster an atmosphere of tolerance.

The Quartet commended Egypt for its endeavor to overcome Palestinian
divisions and to reunite Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza under the
legitimate Palestinian Authority. The Quartet welcomed the continuing calm
between Gaza and southern Israel, which has largely persisted for over three
months and expressed its hope that this calm will result in further relief
for the civilian population of Gaza, including the regular opening of the
crossings for both humanitarian and commercial flows, and sustained peace on
Israel's southern border. The Quartet stated its expectation that movement
of persons and goods will be normalized in the coming months, as foreseen in
the Agreement on Movement and Access, and expressed its strong support for
the immediate resumption of stalled UN and other donor projects in Gaza.
This will facilitate economic activity, reduce dependence on humanitarian
assistance, and restore links between Gaza and the West Bank. The Quartet
welcomed the offer by the EU to resume its monitoring mission at the Rafah
crossing point. The Quartet called for the immediate and unconditional
release of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit.

The Quartet welcomed efforts toward comprehensive regional peace and
stability, including Turkey's facilitation of indirect Israeli-Syrian
negotiations. It expressed hope for an intensification of these talks with
the goal of achieving peace in accordance with the Madrid terms of
reference. The Quartet noted the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative as
a major element in moving the process forward and re-affirmed its support
for a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on
U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, and 1515.

The Quartet expressed its intention to work closely with the parties in the
important period ahead. The Quartet agreed that the spring of 2009 could be
an appropriate time for an international meeting in Moscow.

The Quartet noted with appreciation the parties' suggestion to brief the
Quartet on their ongoing negotiation process, with due regard for the
confidential and bilateral nature of the discussions. The Quartet expressed
its interest in coordinating such a meeting for a mutually accepted time.

End text.


Released on September 26, 2008

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