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Final Quartet Statement

September 26, 2003
New York, New York

Representatives of the Quartet -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, and European Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten -- met today in New York.

The Quartet members view with great concern the situation in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza which has stalled implementation of the roadmap. The Quartet reminds both parties of the need to take into account long-term consequences of their actions, and the obligation for both parties to make rapid progress toward full implementation of the roadmap for peace. They reaffirm their commitment to President Bush's vision -- shared by Russia, the EU and UN -- of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security; and call on both Israelis and Palestinians to fulfill their obligations and responsibilities under the roadmap and the commitments both sides made to President Bush at the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba.

The Quartet members remind all sides that they have obligations and responsibilities to each other that must be performed. Each party must do more to immediately and simultaneously address the core concerns of the other, as described in the roadmap. The Quartet members reaffirm their commitment to the roadmap and to resumed progress by the parties toward its rapid implementation.

They condemn the vicious terror attacks of August and September carried out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. They again affirm that such actions are morally indefensible and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people. They call on Palestinians to take immediate, decisive steps against individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks. Such steps should be accompanied by Israeli supportive measures, including resumption of full security cooperation. They further call on all states to end harboring and support, including fund-raising and financial assistance, of any groups and individuals that use terror and violence to advance their goals.

The Quartet members affirm that the Palestinian Authority security services must be consolidated under the clear control of an empowered Prime Minister and Interior Minister and must be the sole armed authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Noting that the first Palestinian prime minister has resigned his post, they urge that the new Palestinian Prime Minister form a cabinet as soon as possible, and ask that cabinet to re-commit itself to the pledges made in the roadmap and at Aqaba. The Palestinian Authority must ensure that a "rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure."

The Quartet members recognize Israel's legitimate right to self-defense in the face of terrorist attacks against its citizens. In this context and in the context of international humanitarian law, they call on the Government of Israel to exert maximum efforts to avoid civilian casualties. The Government of Israel must "take no action undermining trust, including deportations, confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet Work Plan." The Quartet members call on the Government of Israel to take immediate steps to ease the humanitarian and economic plight of the Palestinian people, including through easing the movement of people and goods, and ensuring access to international humanitarian organizations. The Quartet members reaffirm that, in accordance with the roadmap, settlement activity must stop, and note with great concern the actual and proposed route of Israel's West Bank fence, particularly as it results in the confiscation of Palestinian land, cuts off the movement of people and goods, and undermines Palestinians' trust in the roadmap process as it appears to prejudge final borders of a future Palestinian state.

The Quartet calls upon the international and regional community to continue to provide well-coordinated assistance to the Palestinian Authority for the implementation of reforms and institution building and to consider steps that could be taken with respect to the socio-economic development of the region. The Quartet members will continue to follow closely the implementation by the parties of their obligations. The Quartet members will coordinate their efforts through regular meetings of Quartet representatives, as well as through discussion among the Quartet Principals. The Principals will next meet prior to the end of the year.

The Quartet members look forward to continuing to work closely together, as well as in association with regional parties, to help achieve progress, both between Israelis and Palestinians and toward the goal of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

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