The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has described the outcome of yesterday’s bilateral talks between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as “positive” and “a major step forward” in moving towards negotiating a peace treaty between the parties.
“The demise of Yasser Arafat and the election of Mahmoud Abbas together with his subsequent renunciation of violence have changed the atmospherics surrounding this long-standing dispute,” AIJAC Executive Director, Dr Colin Rubenstein, said today.
“This, coupled with PM Sharon’s unwavering commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, have allowed events to move as quickly and as positively as they have.”
“Hopefully this declaration of a ceasefire will now set the scene for constructive talks which will deliver a lasting and just peace to both Israelis and Palestinians, both of whom have suffered long enough,” he said.
“What we now need to hear is a clear Palestinian declaration recognising Israel’s right to exist, a disavowal of violence, terror and incitement, and for President Abbas to begin dismantling the infrastructures of Palestinian terror groups,” Dr Rubenstein concluded.
For further information please contact Dr Colin Rubenstein on 0418 339 721 or 03 9681 6660 or Jeremy Jones on 0411 536 436 or 02 9360 5415