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Israel And Palestine

Volume 670: debated on Monday 14 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:By what means they will convey their conclusions on the Palestine meeting held in London on 1 March to the government of Israel; and what steps they are taking to encourage reciprocal initiatives from the Israeli Government. [HL1563]

I visited Israel on 3 March to brief the government of Israel on the conclusions of the London meeting. My visit included meetings with Vice-Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Vice-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.We will continue to urge Israel to recognise the efforts that the Palestinian Authority is making and to respond in kind to implement its road map commitments and to co-ordinate its disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank with the Palestinians.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What plans they have to consult other quartet partners on the next steps, following the London meeting on Palestine on 1 March, leading to a full road map peace conference and durable negotiations between Palestine and Israel. [HL1606]

Quartet principals held a meeting in the margins of the London meeting on 1 March. They welcomed the conclusions of the London meeting and reaffirmed their commitment to help both parties make progress towards the two-state solution through the road map. They also encouraged the two parties to continue on the path of direct dialogue and negotiation. Principals agreed to meet again before the start of disengagement in the summer.The UK agrees with the quartet that the road map remains the political framework for progress. We will continue to consult quartet members on their views about the way forward. And we will continue to encourage both the Palestinians and Israelis to implement their commitments under phase one, to put in place the conditions needed for a successful road map peace conference.

asked Her Majesty's Government:What are the terms of reference of the United States-led security co-ordinating group being set up to reform and retrain the Palestinian security services; what will be the extent of the United Kingdom's participation; what liaison the new security co-ordinating group will have with the Israel Defence Force (IDF); and whether its remit will take account of the need for retraining of young IDF soldiers in their contacts with Palestinians. [HL1631]

The quartet called for the establishment of a US-led security co-ordinating group in its statement of May 2004. On 1 March this year, the participants of the London meeting on supporting the Palestinian Authority (PA) set out its goals. It will work with the PA to oversee the restructuring and retraining of its security services. The security services' goals are to end attacks against Israelis and to ensure law and order within areas that the PA controls.The security co-ordinating group will consist of countries and organisations that play a major role on security issues. The group will consult Israeli security services when applicable in order to assist the PA's work. The US is still working on the precise make-up and remit of the group.