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Middle East peace agreement.

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News Release

Laurie Brereton, MP

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs




5 September 1999






The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton, today applauded the signature by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak a nd Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat of the new Middle East Peace Agreement reviving the stalled Wye River Accord and setting a one year timetable for the conclusion of final status negotiations.


“This new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is a historic step forward and gives much hope for a just and lasting peace”, Mr Brereton said.


“The agreement is a milestone in its substantive content, especially the one year deadline for negotiation of a final status agreement with a preliminary framework agreement scheduled for February 2000 and conclusion of the permanent accord by September 2000. Equally important is the reestablishment of confidence between the parties — an essential ingredient for further progress toward peace and security.”


“All those who have contributed to this agreement deserve the world’s praise for going the distance to achieve a historic breakthrough.”


“As Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy said last Friday, this agreement should herald the opening of a new era that will ‘bring an end to a tragic situation’. While no one should underestimate the challenges remaining, this new accord will help pave the way towards a comprehensive settlement through which Israel and its neighbours can live in peace and security.”


“For Australia’s part’ conclusion of this new agreement should prompt a substantive reaffirmation of Australia’s support for the Middle East Peace Process.”


“The Howard Government should be active pursuing new measures through which Australia can make a significant contribution to the achievement of peace and security in the Middle East.”


“The Government should reconsider its shortsighted decision to close Australia’s Embassy in Damascus. Positive consideration should also be given to further assistance through Australia’s overseas aid program aimed at improving the economic and social circumstances of the Palestinian people.”



Contact: Philip Dorling 02 6277 4717 or 0416 203 058



al  1999-09-07  11:03