Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Unofficial Mideast Peace Plans Get Global Backing, by Jim Lobe: "Fifty-eight former world leaders also signed a statement endorsing both plans and noting the critical importance of laying out the basic principles of a 'fair and lasting solution' at the beginning of the peace process rather than negotiating incremental steps that gives leverage to 'extremists on both sides.' They also called for the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations, which have been trying unsuccessfully to get both parties to implement a 'road map' unveiled 10 months ago, to line up behind the two initiatives."

"Signers included former Finnish presidents Martti Ahtisaari and Kalevi Sorsa; former Costa Rican presidents Oscar Arias Sanchez and Jose Maria Figueres; former Swedish prime ministers Carl Bildt and Ingvar Carlsson; former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso; and former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.

"Former Indian prime minister I. K. Gujral; former Australian prime ministers Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke; former South African president F. W. de Klerk; former Philippine president Fidel Ramos; former Ghanaian president Jerry Rawlings; former Polish prime minister Hanna Suchoka; and former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo also endorsed the plans. Among international officials, former UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros Ghali; former European Commission president Jacques Delors; former UN high commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata; former UN Population Fund director Nafis Sadik; former Organization of African Unity secretary-general Salim Ahmed Salim, and former UN commissioner for human rights Mary Robinson also signed the statement."

The 'Geneva Accord' is nothing more than a reworked version of the land-for-peace, two-state solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which has been the internationally backed position for more than 30 years. The problem now, as ever, is that the United States vetoes this solution in favour of a continuation of the conflict, a continuation of the occupation and the building of settlements.

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