Doc. 11250
17 April 2007

Situation in the Middle East

Report
Political Affairs Committee
Rapporteur: Mr Mikhail MARGELOV, Russian Federation, European Democrat Group


Summary

The Parliamentary Assembly has been following the situation in the Middle East with utmost attention for many years, through its different committees, not only concerning Israel and the Palestinian Authority but also including the broader region of the Middle East.

Significant progress in establishing a dialogue and promoting democratic values in the Middle East has been accomplished over the last few years. The cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly and Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians has so far been promising.

It is important to underline that the Parliamentary Assembly cannot get involved directly in the peace process, but its contribution may consist in promoting relations at the parliamentary level. Enhanced cooperation between the Knesset, the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Parliamentary Assembly could be used to spread the Parliamentary Assembly’s dedication to the values it stands for, including the respect of human rights, rejection of violence and of all forms of terrorism, and could thus contribute to the creation of favourable conditions for a peace settlement in the Middle East.

A.        Draft resolution

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1493 (2006) on the situation in the Middle East and Resolution 1520 (2006) on recent developments in Lebanon in the context of the situation in the Middle East.

2.       The Assembly welcomes the efforts made by the Palestinian President and Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and the new government of national union to co-operate and bring about a halt to the escalation of violence between them by signing an agreement in Mecca on 8 February 2007, which led to the nomination of a new government of national unity on 17 March 2007.

3.       While welcoming the creation of a government of national unity, which should lay the foundation for Palestinian reconciliation, the Assembly also expects that both sides will strive to do their utmost to eliminate political confrontation and opt for accommodation, and will channel existing tensions in order not to affect the future of this government.

4.       The Assembly regrets however that the government of national unity has not committed itself to the requirements of the Quartet (the European Union, the United Nations, the Russian Federation and the United States), namely the recognition of Israel, commitment to the principle of non-violence and abidance by previous peace accords.

5.       The Assembly nevertheless sees in this government a potential new interlocutor in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In order to reinitiate peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, it is important that dialogue be established with this new government.

6.       The Assembly believes that it is now urgent to reactivate the peace process and to move toward a two-state solution.

7.       To that end, the Assembly welcomes the renewed commitment by the Arab League states, which met in Riyad on 27-28 March 2007, to the Arab peace initiative, which was first proposed in 2002. This initiative foresees the normalisation of relations between the Arab world and Israel in exchange for the return to the 1967 borders, the inclusion of Arab East Jerusalem in a Palestinian state and the agreement on a solution to the question of Palestinian refugees.

8.       The Assembly believes that both Israel and the Palestinian Authority should seize this window of opportunity which could become a real breakthrough in the move towards a global settlement between the Arab world and Israel.

9.       The Assembly would strongly urge all parties not to lose this unique momentum.

10.       In this context, the Assembly believes that the commencement of regular meetings between the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and the Palestinian President Abbas is an encouraging sign and offers prospects for the future.

11.        The Assembly welcomes the first in a series of intended bi-weekly talks between Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas which took place on 15 April 2007, which addressed for the first time after six years of paralysis in the peacemaking process general outlines for a Palestinian state.

12.       Furthermore, the Assembly can only welcome the proposal made by the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in response to the initiative put forward at the Riyad Summit, to invite all Arab leaders to hold direct talks with Israel in the framework of a Summit on the Middle East, demonstrating thereby a constructive approach to renewed dialogue.

13.       The Assembly believes that the international community, in particular the Quartet and notably the European Union, should also grasp this opportunity to contribute to the progress being made towards an Arab-Israeli peace settlement and should be actively engaged in this respect.

14.       As stated in Resolution 1520 (2006), the Council of Europe should actively contribute to the creation of a positive climate in the region capable of fostering a political settlement. The Third Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Council of Europe, held in Warsaw in 2005, set out clear priorities for future action, including the promotion of democratic values and intercultural dialogue.

15.       Considering the presence of Israeli observers and Palestinian parliamentarians during Parliamentary Assembly sessions, the Assembly considers itself to be particularly well-placed to pursue such a dialogue at the parliamentary level with all parties concerned in the region.

16.       The Assembly recalls its proposal set forth in Resolution 1420 (2005) to establish a Tripartite Forum allowing parliamentarians from the Knesset, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and the Parliamentary Assembly to sit together on an equal footing with the right to speak and make proposals on questions of common interest. The Assembly notes with satisfaction that its Political Affairs Committee is working on the implementation of this proposal.

17.       The Assembly is convinced that the Tripartite Forum could greatly contribute to enhanced confidence at parliamentary level and hence foster the peaceful resolution of the Middle East conflict. However, for the Tripartite Forum to become a reality, goodwill and action from both sides - Israel and the Palestinian authority - are needed.

18.       In this regard, the Assembly resolves to continue facilitating contacts between members of the PLC and the Knesset at parliamentary level.

19.       The Assembly firmly believes that the only way to establish peace and stability in the region is through democracy, respect for all human rights and the rule of law.

20.       Furthermore, the Assembly reaffirms that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority should be viewed within the broader context of the Middle East region and the volatile situation and insecurity in countries like Lebanon, Syria or Iraq, thus making it indispensable to create dialogue among all countries of the region and resolves to facilitate contacts at the parliamentary level with the region.

21.       The Assembly condemns acts of terrorism, including abduction of civilians which are increasingly frequent in the region and which ultimately affect the stability of the whole region, and should be eliminated in order for the region not to be confronted with a new cycle of atrocities, as has recently been the case in the terrorist attacks in Morocco and Algeria. The Assembly also condemns the spiritual, political and financial support from foreign governments to organisations and groups that spread violence and commit terrorist acts in the most sensitive regions of the Middle East: Lebanon, the Palestinian territories and Iraq. The Assembly strongly condemns these attacks.

22.       The Assembly calls on the Palestinian leaders to:

22.1.       renounce violence, recognise the state of Israel within secure internationally recognised borders and to comply with past agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority;

22.2.       enforce law and order;

22.3.       protect and consolidate the nascent opportunity to establish a renewed dialogue and serious negotiations with Israel;

22.4.       ensure that internal differences between Fatah and Hamas do not slow down or impede dialogue with leaders from Israel;

22.5.       release Israeli soldiers against whom no precise charges have been brought;

22.6.       take steps to stop daily launching of Kassam rockets.

23.       The Assembly calls on the leaders of Israel to:

23.1.       start working with the Palestinian government of national unity;

23.2.       confirm, by concrete action, Israel’s expressed commitment to the resumption of negotiations and political dialogue;

23.3.       facilitate Palestinian movement and trade;

23.4.       release those Palestinian parliamentarians and ministers against whom no precise charges have been brought;

23.5.       resume the transfer of outstanding Palestinian revenues;

23.6.       put an immediate end to the construction of the security wall.

24.       The Assembly calls on parliamentarians from the Knesset and the PLC to:

24.1.       co-operate with the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in order to pave the way for the organisation of the Tripartite Forum.

25.       The Assembly calls on the European Union to:

25.1.       actively contribute to the creation of a positive climate enabling the resumption of peace negotiations;

25.2.       continue its financial assistance to the Palestinian people and thereafter monitor the expenditure of funds.

26.       The Assembly calls on the Parliaments of the region to contribute to regional stability and to engage in a meaningful dialogue for peace.

27.       At the same time the Assembly resolves to explore the possibility of organising a round table with representatives of civil society, scholars and youth organisations, both from Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in order to share views on the Arab-Israeli peace process.

B.        Explanatory memorandum

I.        Introduction

1.       The Parliamentary Assembly has been following the situation in the Middle East with utmost attention for many years, through its different committees. The Political Affairs Committee has been particularly involved in this question and especially through its Sub-Committee on the Middle East, through which fact-finding visits to the region and hearings have taken place.

2.       The latest report dealing with the situation in the Middle East, entitled “Recent developments in Lebanon in the context of the situation in the Middle East”, was presented by the Political Affairs Committee in October 2006 against the backdrop of the tragic events which took place in Lebanon in July and August 2006, resulting in a high death toll and considerable destruction of infrastructure.

3.       The above-mentioned report was certainly focused on the tragic events in Lebanon, but was set against the wider context of the situation in the Middle East, developing one of its central issues, the Israeli-Arab conflict.

4.       The present report aims at focusing on the developments which took place not only within the Palestinian Authority (PA) itself, but also between the PA and Israel since the formation of a Palestinian government of national unity and on the prospects for peace in the region. Of course, this conflict has also to be seen in the context of the broader region and the role neighbouring countries can play in securing a better dialogue for peace.

II.        Main developments in the Israeli-Palestinian relations since the Mecca agreement between Hamas and Fatah

5.       Before mentioning the instatement of the Palestinian national unity government, it is worthwhile recalling the steps which brought about such a national unity government.

6.       The outcome of the Parliamentary elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council in January 2006 and the overwhelming victory of Hamas, the largest Palestinian militant Islamic organisation, took all observers by surprise, both inside the Palestinian authority and among the international community at large.

7.       The international community, in particular the Quartet (the European Union, the United Nations, the Russian Federation and the United States) and notably the European Union (EU), was initially very cautious in its reaction and relations with a future government. This cautiousness was soon to turn into the boycotting of the Hamas and the cutting off of financial assistance to the Palestinian government.

8.       Domestically, the victory of Hamas brought about great turmoil and instability within the PA and led to repeated political and violent clashes between the Fatah and Hamas partisans.

9.       Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh (Hamas) and President Abbas (Fatah) reached an agreement in September 2006 on a policy programme for a forthcoming government of national unity. President Abbas dissolved the government and asked Prime Minister Haniyeh to form a new government of national unity. However, President Abbas, while present at the General Assembly of the United Nations, stated that any government of national unity that would be negotiated with Hamas would recognise Israel.

10.       President Abbas’ statement at the General Assembly of the United Nations was immediately rejected by Hamas and triggered violent confrontation between Hamas and Fatah were.

11.       Violence continued until Hamas and Fatah declared a ceasefire in January 2007.

12.       Several weeks of intense negotiations finally led to an agreement between Hamas and Fatah to form a government of national unity.

13.       On 8 February 2007 an agreement was signed in Mecca between Hamas and Fatah setting out the principles of the coalition government, including a promise that it will “respect” previous peace accords with Israel and divide up cabinet posts in the new government.

14.       The government of national unity was instated on 17 March 2007. This new government was welcomed with very measured optimism by the European Union, and not recognised by the United States and Israel, the latter calling on the international community to boycott such a government.

15.       While the Palestinian government of national unity should not be seen as an obstacle to furthering the peace process, because it lays the foundation for Palestinian reconciliation, it should nevertheless be hoped that both sides will strive to do their utmost to eliminate political confrontation and opt for accommodation, and will channel existing tensions in order not to affect the future of this government.

16.       This new government of national unity presents an opportunity to restore law and order, to control the militias and to place itself as a new interlocutor for initiating renewed dialogue on the peace process with Israel.

17.       The international community, in particular the Quartet and notably the European Union, should assist the Palestinian government and try to start easing the economic and political boycott imposed on it.

18.       The biggest donor to the PA, the European Union, has stopped funding the Palestinian government for over a year now and has still not taken steps to resume its financial aid. It appears that the EU will stand ready to resume its assistance only “to a legitimate Palestinian government adopting a platform reflecting the Quartet principles”1 and after having carefully assessed the platform and actions of the new government and its ministers.

19.       This stance should be measured and revised considering that, in order to move forward and especially towards renewed peace talks, the Palestinian government needs the assistance of the international community and cannot act on its own, not least of which in the field of institutional reform in which the EU has always been a major player.

20.       Recently, at the Summit of the Arab League states, which met in Riyad on 27-28 March 2007, a new window of opportunity was opened to reactivate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

21.       During that Summit, the Arab leaders adopted a declaration endorsing an Arab peace initiative launched in 2002 in Beirut under which Arab nations would recognise Israel if Israel withdrew from the land occupied in 1967. This initiative also mentions the creation of a Palestinian state and the return of Palestinian refugees.

22.       The Riyad Summit has been widely welcomed among the international community and certainly constitutes the first step to a possible concrete breakthrough in renewing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian authority.

23.       As Rapporteur, I can only add my voice to the broad support given by the international community to this opportunity brought forward during the Riyad Summit. This initiative creates a genuine opportunity for progress towards the peace process and should not be missed.

24.       This is a unique moment since it appears that there is a clear will on both sides to cooperate and renew dialogue. Proof of that is also the promising reaction of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert who proposed, in response to the initiative put forward at the Riyad Summit, to invite all Arab leaders to hold direct talks with Israel.

25.       The meeting held on 15 April 2007 between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas is yet another promising sign. This meeting stems from a visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in March 2007, when both leaders agreed to hold talks once every two weeks.

26.       This momentum should also be seized in the context of the situation with neighbouring Middle East countries, in order to open dialogue on a broader scale.

III.        The position of the Parliamentary Asssembly

27.       The Parliamentary Assembly has been closely following the situation in the region as witnessed by the numerous resolutions and recommendations it has adopted. In particular, the Political Affairs Committee has been attempting to contribute to the dialogue at parliamentary level between both parties of the conflict.

28.       Significant progress in establishing a dialogue and promoting democratic values in the Middle East has been accomplished over the last few years. In 2001, the Assembly resolved to invite representatives of the PLC whenever the question of the Middle East would be discussed. The cooperation so far has been promising and members of the PLC have attended regularly both at committee level and at the plenary.

29.       Resolution 1420 (2005) went a step further and resolved to facilitate contacts between the parliamentarians from the Knesset and the PLC, and in particular, it instructed its relevant committees, and informed the Secretary General, to step up co-operation with their counterparts in both parliaments by organizing joint meetings, conferences and training programmes.

30.       One essential element which has stemmed from past resolutions on the situation in the Middle East is the idea put forward first in 2005 to establish a Tripartite Forum allowing parliamentarians from the Knesset, the PLC and the Parliamentary Assembly to sit together on an equal footing with the right to speak and make proposals on questions of common interest.

31.       It is important to underline that the Parliamentary Assembly cannot get involved directly in the peace process, but its contribution may consist in promoting relations at the parliamentary level. Enhanced cooperation between the Knesset, the PLC and the Parliamentary Assembly could be used to spread the Parliamentary Assembly’s dedication to the values it stands for, including the respect of human rights, rejection of violence and of all forms of terrorism, and could thus contribute to the creation of favourable conditions for a peace settlement in the Middle East.

32.       Since 2005, the Sub-Committee on the Middle East of the Political Affairs Committee has repeatedly discussed the question with both Israeli and Palestinian parliamentarians and the results have so far been promising. Both sides have agreed that a Tripartite Forum might contribute to the political process.

33.       The launching meeting of the Forum has so far been postponed due to the results of the parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Authority. The emergence of Hamas as a winning party divided the Assembly on the position to adopt and did not give rise to a unanimous position. The instatement of a government of national unity might now help the Assembly to move forward and take a common position.

34.       The Sub-Committee on the Middle East should take advantage of the present momentum, which follows the Riyad Summit and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s intention to hold a Summit with Arab leaders to exchange views with Israel.

35.       The Palestinians and Israelies are showing clear signs of good will and openness. The Assembly should not miss this opportunity of giving new impetus to the idea of establishing a Tripartite Forum.

36.       In the meantime, the Assembly could propose to the Political Affairs Committee to explore the possibility of organising a round table with representatives of the civil society, scholars and youth organisations from both Israel and the Palestinian Authority in order to share views on the Arab-Israeli peace process. This could be seen as a preparatory step towards the organisation of the Tripartite Forum.

37.       As Rapporteur, I wish to point out that the Parliamentary Assembly, through its committees, is also very active in the broader context of the situation in the Middle East and with its co-operation with parliaments elsewhere in the region. As an example, I can refer to the current report under preparation concerning the co-operation between the Council of Europe and Lebanon.

38.       Furthermore, several contacts have also been established with parliaments of Syria and Iraq. These contacts have not been successful so far. However, there have been some recent signs of interest, giving us hope for the future.

Appendix

Chronology of events between the Palestinian Authority and Israel since September 2006

11 September 2006: Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh and President Abbas reach agreement on a policy programme for a forthcoming government of national union.

12 September 2006: Mr Abbas declares his intention to dissolve the government within 48 hours and to ask the current Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh, to form a new government of national unity. In order to renew its cooperation with the Palestinian government, the European Union requests the Hamas to recognise Israel’s right to exist, to accept existing agreements and to renounce violence.

13 September 2006: Mr Abbas obtains a green light from Hamas to negotiate with Israel.

21 September 2006: Mr Abbas said at the General Assembly of the United Nations that any national unity government he negotiated with the Hamas would recognise Israel's right to exist and renounce violence.

22 September 2006: The Hamas rejects the proposition of Mr Abbas to form a national unity government that recognises Israel’s right to exist.

1 October 2006: Beginning of violent confrontation between Hamas and Fatah

18 December 2006: First truce in Gaza

20 December 2006: Second truce decided between Hamas and Fatah.

23 December 2006: Meeting between Mahmud Abbas and Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem. The Israeli PM decides to release 100 million dollars for the Palestinians. The two leaders want to restart the peace process.

6 January 2007: Mahmud Abbas declares “illegal” the Executive Force, the military component of Hamas.

7 January 2007: During a meeting for the anniversary of the creation of Fatah, Mohammed Dahlan, Fatah chief in Gaza, pronounces a violent speech against Hamas. Street fights between Fatah and Hamas follow this speech on 8 and 9 January.

8 January 2007: Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz presents his peace plan in three stages: 1) Six months to dismantle the illegal West Bank settlements, general ceasefire with the Palestinians and liberation of corporal Shalit 2) Talks with President Abbas or someone who recognises Israel. Some towns will be given to the Palestinians 3) Over eighteen months, building of a Palestinian State.

14 January 2007: Meeting between Condoleezza Rice, King Abdallah II of Jordan and Mahmud Abbas. Ms Rice promises a bigger American push towards a Palestinian state in a bid to bolster moderate President Mahmud Abbas in his power struggle with Hamas.

19 January 2007: Israel unblocks almost 100 million dollars in customs charges for the Palestinian people and halts a plan to establish a settlement in the West Bank.

20 January 2007: meeting in Damascus between President Abbas and Khaled Mashaal, political leader of Hamas in exile, to discuss a government of national unity.

29 January 2007: first suicide attack in nine months, in Eilat, southern Israel. Responsibility is claimed by the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ brigades.

30 January 2007: Israeli raid in the Gaza Strip in retaliation against the Eilat attack. Defence Minister Amir Peretz considers building a barrier on Israel’s border with Egypt. Cease-fire between Hamas and Fatah.

8 February 2007: Agreement between Hamas and Fatah in Mecca to form a government of national unity.

The European Union, Berlin, Paris, London, Moscow and Beijing welcome the agreement signed by Hamas and Fatah in Mecca with measured optimism, while Washington and Jerusalem remain circumspect. In the agreement document, President Abbas calls on the future government to "respect international law and the agreements concluded by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)". This is the only reference to the question of recognising Israel and the agreements concluded previously between Palestinians and the Israel.

19 February 2007: meeting of President Abbas, Prime Minister Olmert and U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas are in favour of the coexistence of two states.

11 March 2007: Third meeting between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas brings no progress.

15 March 2007: formation of the new Palestinian government of national unity, with Ismail Haniyeh as Prime Minister and Azzam Al-Ahmad (Fatah) as Deputy-Prime Minister.

17 March 2007: new Palestinian Government of national unity instated.

18 March 2007: the Israeli Government of Ehud Olmert asks the international community to boycott the new Palestinian government. The United States considers the new government’s declarations "disappointing and incoherent in respect of the Quartet’s principles". Only Norway announces the resumption of its aid to the Palestinians.

The European Union calls on the Palestinian government to respect the principles of the Quartet: recognition of Israel, non-violence and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations.

PM Haniyeh says his government will work on "creating an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty over the territories occupied in 1967", but without mentioning Israel’s right to exist alongside this state.

20 March 2007: meeting of European and American envoys with members of the new Palestinian Government. US State Department announces it will boycott ministers from Hamas, but deal with certain people on a case-by-case basis.

28 March 2007: the Arab League Summit in Riyad, Saudi Arabia, attempts to revive the peace process. The Summit unanimously adopts a resolution reviving the peace initiative with Israel adopted at the Beirut Summit in 2002. This resolution also calls for the establishment of the Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital and for the return of refugees not to the Palestinian territories but to what is now Israel.

29 March 2007: Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister, rejects the resolution, considering that the Arab League Summit is in no position to impose conditions.

30 March 2007: Prime Minister Olmert declares his readiness for talks with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and maintains that a comprehensive peace with the Palestinians could be concluded in five years, while admitting that certain issues (return to the 1967 borders and return of Palestinian refugees) are still a problem.

1 April 2007: the Israeli Prime Minister Olmert invites all Arab leaders to hold direct talks with Israel at a summit on the Middle East.

15 April 2007: meeting between Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas.

Reporting Committee: Political Affairs Committee.

Reference to Committee: 3336 of 16 March 2007

Draft resolution unanimously adopted by the Committee on 17 April 2007

Members of the Committee: Mr Abdülkadir Ateş (Chairman), Mr Konstantion Kosachev (Vice-Chairman), Mr Zsolt Németh (Vice-Chairman), Mr Giorgi Bokeria (Vice-Chairman), Mr Miloš Aligrudić, Mr Birgir Ármannsson, Mr Claudio Azzolini, Mr Andris Bērzinš, Mr Alexandër Biberaj, Ms Raisa Bohatyryova, Mr Luc Van den Brande, Ms Cornelia Cazacu, Mr Lorenzo Cesa, M. Mauro Chiaruzzi, Ms Elvira Cortajarena, Ms Anna Čurdová, Mr Noel Davern, Mr Dumitru Diacov, Mr Michel Dreyfus-Schmidt, Ms Josette Durrieu, Mr Joan Albert Farré Santuré, Mr Pietro Fassino, Mr Per-Kristian Foss, Ms Doris Frommelt, Mr Jean-Charles Gardetto, Mr Charles Goerens, Mr Andreas Gross, Mr Jean-Pol Henry, Mr Serhiy Holovaty, Mr Joachim Hörster, Mrs Sinikka Hurskainen, Mr Tadeusz Iwiński, Mr Miloš Jeftić, Mrs Corien W.A. Jonker, Ms Darja Lavtižar-Bebler, Mr Göran Lindblad, Mr Younal Loutfi, Mr Mikhail Margelov, Mr Tomasz Markowski, Mr Dick Marty, Mr Frano Matušić, Mr Murat Mercan, Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, Mr Marko Mihkelson, Ms Nadezhda Mikhailova (alternate: Mr Ivan Ivanov) , Mr Aydin Mirzazada (alternate: Mr Sabir Hajiyev), Mr Joāo Bosco Mota Amaral, Ms Natalia Narochnitskaya (alternate: Mr Ilyas Umakhanov), Mr Grygoriy Nemyrya, Mrs Miroslava Nemcova, Mr Fritz Neugebauer, Mr Theodoros Pangalos, Ms Elsa Papadimitriou, Mr Christos Pourgourides, Mr Gordon Prentice (alternate: Mr Denis MacShane), Mr Gabino Puche, Mr Lluís Maria de Puig, Mr Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando (alternate: Mr Leo Brincat), Mr Andrea Rigoni, Lord Russell-Johnston, Mr Oliver Sambevski (alternate: Mr Blagoj Zasov), Mr Ingo Schmitt, Ms Hanne Severinsen, Mr Samad Seyidov, Mr Leonid Slutsky, Mr Rainder Steenblock, Mr Zoltán Szabó, Baroness Taylor of Bolton (alternate: Lord Tomlinson), Mr Mehmet Tekelioğlu, Mr Tigran Torosyan, Mr Mihai Tudose, Mr José Vera Jardim, Ms Biruté Vesaité, Mr Björn Von Sydow, Mr Varujan Vosganian, Mr Harm Evert Waalkens, Mr David Wilshire, Mr Wolgang Wodarg, Ms Gisela Wurm, Mr Boris Zala, Mr Krzysztof Zaremba (alternate: Mr Andrzej Grzyb).

Ex-officio: MM. Mátyás Eörsi, Tiny Kox

N.B.: The names of the members who took part in the meeting are printed in bold

Head of the Secretariat: Mr Perin

Secretaries to the Committee: Mrs Nachilo, Mr Chevtchenko, Mrs Sirtori-Milner, Mrs Pieter, Mr Alarcón


1 Declaration by the Presidency of the European Unuion on the Formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity, 17 March 2007.