International observers, a must for implementing Mitchell plan
Palestine-Egypt, Politics, 8/22/2001
The Egyptian chief delegate said Egypt still hopes a just and comprehensive peaceful settlement be reached for the Arab Israeli conflict despite the fact that this hope was dealt many blows by the Israeli side during the past few months.
This came at the time when ambassador Nabil Fahmy, the Egyptian ambassador in Washington said Egypt made it clear to the US administration that the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories is not only harmful to peace efforts but also to the image of the US in the Middle East.
He said in exclusive statements to Al Ahram that he sees no signs of detente at the present time, adding there is no genuine ground for optimism in the light of efforts by the government of Israel and its overtures which are contradictory to the Madrid conference and Oslo process.
He said the Egyptian side focused during the talks held by the political delegation in Washington on the need for ending many Israeli practices and measures and providing a follow-up mechanism in the framework of Mitchell committee.
He said the US side conveyed to the Egyptian side its concern over the vicious cycle violence and counter violence between the two sides.
He said the US side asked Egypt to exert efforts with the Palestinian side for cooling off the situation out of the logic of direct relations between Egypt and Palestinian people.
At the Security Council session speakers underlined the need for carrying out Mitchell Committee recommendations but differed on ways of carrying them out.
The United States has supported Israel during debates saying the Palestinian draft resolution calling for deploying observers is biased and unfeasible.
Diplomatic sources said due to the US objections, many Islamic countries did not attempt to put the draft resolution for voting. Other countries like Russia kept silent on dispatching observers.
Gennady Fatilov, Russian Deputy permanent delegate, said Monday, that the time factor is very critical as the daily bloodletting nourishes the mutual distrust and hence, the two sides should embark on a direct dialogue to take certain steps to tone down tensions and resume the peace process.
However, James Cunningham, Charge d'Affaires of the US permanent delegate, exhorted an end for violence without preconditions, pointing out that the security council has no role to play in this process.
Moreover, the Chinese delegate called on the Israeli government to restore the Orient House and the other occupied Palestinian buildings immediately to the Palestinians, urging both sides to help the international community implement the Mitchell report as soon as possible.
British delegate Stuart Eldon called on Israel to manifest maximum self-restraint in its use of force and to lift the siege that crippled the Palestinian economy, expressing his government's concerns over closure of the Orient House and other Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem.
The French delegate, on the other hand, reiterated the calls on the Palestinians to exert 100 percent efforts to cease fire, urging implementation of the Mitchell recommendations.
James Cunningham, the US chief delegate to the United Nations, said his country doubts stability if any measure to be taken. In New York because of the risks of events on the ground.
Palestinians attacked the United States and the Security Council. Nasser Al Qodwah the Palestinian chief delegate to the UN attacked the United Nations saying if the Security Council had assumed its responsibilities, violence could not have escalated. The Israeli chief delegate to the United Nations said the United States would veto any draft resolution which condemns Israel.
The Israeli delegate hailed the Russian stance, as he did not utter one word on dispatching observers considering the Russian stance as an implicit support to Israel.
Egyptian delegation to Washington highlights need for peace efforts
Envoy denies Egyptian team blamed Palestinians for violence
Egypt participates in the SC emergency session
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