Latest developments with respect to the Middle East peace process
The South African Government notes with cautious optimism the recent resumption of direct negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders officially launched on 2 September 2010, in Washington. Initial comments following the talks indicated that the first round of talks was held in good faith and with a seriousness of purpose. South Africa also further welcomes that the next round of talks will be held in Egypt on 14 and 15 September 2010.
The South African Government reiterates its belief that the only option to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is an agreement negotiated between the parties aimed at the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian State, on the basis of 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its Capital, existing side by side in peace and security with Israel.
The Government has also noted that since the talks began, both Israel and Palestine have indicated that there is still a long process to be followed before real progress can be made. However, South Africa echoes the sentiments of President Abbas that this latest round of talks must produce positive and concrete results.
However, the South African Government notes with concern, that Israel continues to reinforce, with facts on the ground, a climate of mistrust and suspicion between itself and the Palestinian people. The continued settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; the continued excavations under the Al Aqsa Mosque and the declaring of certain holy sites as Israeli National Heritage sites, and the institution of Israeli Military Order 1650 which, inter alia, allows the deportation of indigenous Jerusalemites, have led to widespread condemnation by the international community.
South Africa also condemns the recent surge in rocket/ mortar attacks from Gaza, the recent attacks on civilians in the West Bank and the resultant military action from Israel and urges all parties in the Region to show restraint during this time.
For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647, +27 12 351 0083 or e-mail him at email@example.com
Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
10 September 2010