Statement on the Recent Developments in the Middle East
South African Government is gravely concerned at the sporadic acts of violence
that caused the death of six Israelis and seven Palestinians over the past few
days. Government is of the view that such acts should not be allowed to restart
the cycle of violence, as this would delay the resumption of the peace process
in the Middle East.
In addition, the South African Government believes
that the positive process that was set in motion following the election of the
new Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, should not be derailed due to these
incidents of violence. These actions are not in the interest of the majority of
Palestinians and Israelis who need peace, stability, security and prosperity.
The South African Government welcomes the call by Mahmoud Abbas, for a
halt to all violence and calls upon the Israeli Government to reciprocate this
gesture by stopping all military incursions into the occupied Palestinian territories.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aziz Pahad said, "We encourage both sides to
maintain their focus on the negotiated settlement as set out by the Roadmap and
not to allow the process to be postponed. We urge both the Israelis and the Palestinians
not to engage in activities that are not conducive to creating a climate where
negotiations for a lasting peace can occur".
The South African Government
continues to pledge its full support to the speedy implementation of the Road
Map and calls upon the leadership of Israel and the Palestinians to take the necessary
actions to revitalise the peace process.
To this end, "it is vital
that both the Israelis and the Palestinians commit themselves to implementing
the Road Map speedily and without preconditions," Deputy Minister Pahad said.
He stressed that without commitment from both sides to comply with the obligations
as outlined in the Road Map, the peace desired by all Israelis and Palestinians
will remain evasive.
Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853
of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
17 January 2005