Arab foreign ministers and Secretary Rice issue statement on Middle East peace

September 26, 2008


Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan yesterday stressed the importance of enhancing peace and security in the Middle East.

 

The ministers met in New York on the fringe of the 63rd UN General Assembly. Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Saud Al-Faisal attended on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

In a statement issued after the talks, the ministers reiterated their commitment to cooperation and the resolution of disputes through peaceful means. They condemned all forms of terrorist, extremism and sectarian violence.

The ministers expressed the hope that the commitments made at the November 2007 Middle East peace conference in Annapolis would lead to a settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. They also called for a halt to Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories.

On other issues, the statement highlighted support for Lebanon and welcomed talks between Syria and Lebanon. The ministers stated their support for Iraq’s unity and independence, and underscored the importance of Iran’s compliance with the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA).

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