The meeting of the four Middle East peace proccess cosponsors, the UN, the USA, Russia and the EU, will remain in our memory because of the the fact that the parties elaborated a joint position regarding the Middle East issue for the first time since the beginning of the conflict. The USA, which used to push Russia, the UN, and the European Union aside from the process of negotiations, did not even have any objections. America realizes that it has made a mistake, having counted on Israel and infuriating the Arab and European worlds. That is why Washington decided to divide the political burden of responsibility equally.
The USA only wanted one thing: US Secretary of State Colin Powell should announce the will of the “Group of Four” to Israel. The UN, the USA, Russia, and the EU called upon Israel to stop the military actions on the Palestinian territories and withdraw the troops. The “Group of Four” also urged Israel to follow international humanitarian principles and allow international organizations to help the Palestinian population.
As Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said, the absence of an explicit policy of the international community concerning the Middle East “gave the opportunity for several forces that wanted to worsen on the situation” to act with the purpose of destabilization. Ivanov added that the meeting in Madrid allowed the formulation of goals and determined what steps and initiatives must be taken. Russia’s foreign minister believes that the UN, the USA, Russia, and the EU will be similar tp a constantly operating mechanism until the crisis in the Middle East is stopped. The minister stated that another meeting of the same level was expected to take place soon.
“The parties have to stop the violence and then turn to the process of the political settlement,” – Ivanov stressed. “We are certain that the process of the political settlement should be parallel to cease fire and violence.” Ivanov added that the international community was going to notify the Israeli and Palestinian administrations on this.
It was expected earlier that the parties would make a decision, or at least discuss the question pertaining to the introduction of economic sanctions against Israel, but as we can see, this did not happen in Madrid. This subject will most likely be raised if Colin Powell’s mission fails.
We recall that Great Britain, Germany, and France placed an embargo on delivering spare parts for defense technology and protective means to Israel. Other countries of the European Union did not join or condemn them. It is possible that, if Israel does not change its position regarding Palestine, then other countries will join the embargo.
Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov