IBSA Statement on the Middle East Peace, 23 August 2013

Taking into consideration the previous declarations of the India, Brazil and South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) on the Middle East Peace Process, the Foreign Ministers of India, Salman Khurshid; Brazil, Antonio Patriota and South Africa, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, after consultations, agreed on the following statement:

We reaffirm that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains an urgent and key issue for the international community, the resolution of which is a prerequisite for building a sustainable and lasting peace in the Middle East region.

We support the mediation efforts undertaken by the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and welcome the announcement of the resumption of direct final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. This is an encouraging development, one that has the potential for reverting the deadlock and paralysis that have plagued the peace process in recent years. We hope this renewed effort will lead to the full and overdue realization of a two-state solution based on 1967 borders.

We have noted with satisfaction the decision of Israel to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, which is a gesture that contributes to the spirit of cooperation surrounding the negotiations. We are also pleased with the announcement made on 30 July by Mr. Kerry indicating that the Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are committed to reaching a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months. Such an agreement should culminate in the full realization of an independent Palestinian State. We call on the parties to adhere strictly to this timetable.

As we reiterate our call for the Security Council to fully exercise its functions under the UN Charter, with regard to the Palestinian Question, we express our firm belief that the Council should provide sustained support to the peace process and work towards its full and satisfactory completion.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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