Highlights

  • Secretary-General Issues Strong Statement Against Recent Illegal Israeli Actions: The following is the text of a statement issued on 22 June 1998 (SG/SM/6608) by the Spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Kofi Annan concerning recent illegal Israeli actions with regard to Jerusalem:

"The Secretary-General deplores the decision of the Government of Israel to expand the boundaries of Jerusalem. He regrets that Israel has taken this unilateral action which infringes upon numerous General Assembly and Security Council resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem. The Secretary-General wishes to remind the Government of Israel that the international community has not recognized the earlier imposition by Israel of its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the City of Jerusalem."

"The Secretary-General urges Israel to rescind this unfortunate decision and to make every effort to restart the peace process. Permanent status negotiations would, among other things, address Jerusalem according to the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993."

  • European Union Reaffirms Palestinian Rights at Cardiff Meeting: The European Council convened at Cardiff, U.K. from 15-16 June 1998, and the final declaration adopted by the Council included a review and conclusions with regard to the Middle East peace process following recent visits to the region by the President of the European Council. In that context, the Council expressed "its very grave concern at the continuing lack of progress in the peace process and the threat this poses to the stability and security of the region. It underlines the need for all concerned to show courage and vision in the search for peace, based on the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions and the principles agreed at Madrid and Oslo, including full implementation of the existing commitments under the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreements and the Hebron Protocol."

Further emphasizing its concern for the state of the peace process, the Council stressed that "the current opportunity for progress on the Palestinian track must not be lost. It reiterates the European Union’s strong support for the efforts of the United States to gain the agreement of the parties to a package of ideas which, if accepted, would open the way to implementation of existing agreements and the re-launch of the final status talks." Addressing the rights of the Palestinian people, the declaration stated that the Council "calls on Israel to recognize the right of the Palestinians to exercise self-determination, without excluding the option of a State. At the same time, it calls upon the Palestinian people to reaffirm their commitment to the legitimate right of Israel to live within safe, recognized borders."