PNA Urges Mechanisms to Implement UN Resolution 1515


Israel Says ‘Not Bound' by Security Council's Adoption of ‘Roadmap'

Palestine Media Center
November 20, 2003

The Palestine National Authority (PNA) welcomed, but Israel said it is not bound by, Resolution 1515, which was endorsed by all 15 members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Wednesday to back the "roadmap" peace plan to settle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The resolution was co-sponsored by Britain, Bulgaria, Chile, China, France, Germany, Mexico and Spain as well as Russia.

"We welcome this resolution and hope there will be mechanisms to implement it through reactivating the role of the Quartet" of international mediators comprising the UN, US, EU and Russia who drafted and adopted the "roadmap," PNA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday. Despite strong objections from Israel and initial opposition from the United States, the council voted unanimously for the Russian-backed resolution to put its stamp of approval on the plan, which envisages a Palestinian state by 2005.

The Security Council recalled all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and the Madrid principles as the basis for adopting the new resolution. It lauded the diplomatic efforts of the international Quartet and others and decided to endorse: "The quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (S.2003/529)." It also called on "the parties to fulfill their obligations under the road map in cooperation with the quartet and to achieve the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security." The Security Council concluded by deciding "to remain seized of the matter."

Israel said it is not bound by the resolution. "It is possible that we will hold talks with the new Palestinian Government on the basis of the roadmap but ... Israel does not feel that it is bound by the resolution," deputy prime minister Ehud Olmert told Israeli public radio. Moscow's UN ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, first circulated the resolution late last month and introduced it to the 15-member council on Monday. The United States then hesitated in backing the resolution, arguing that the timing was not right but it endorsed the resolution Wednesday after making some minor changes.

Israel believes such a resolution is unnecessary and does not want UN involvement in the peace process. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, during a visit to Moscow in early November, tried to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop the quest for a resolution. The Russian president was reported to be considering it but then went along with his foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, to push the measure.

"More resolutions are not the solution," said Israel's deputy ambassador to UN Arye Mekel. "We need to see action on the ground." The resolution however expresses the council's "grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent events in the Middle East" and reiterates "the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction."

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