16 April 2004

Methodist Church alarmed at Bush’s endorsement of Sharon proposals

Revd Dr Neil Richardson, Methodist President of Conference:

"President Bush's endorsement of Ariel Sharon's proposals are unhelpful to the process of negotiating a just solution in Israel/Palestine.   

From the Palestinian perspective the suggestions regarding West Bank settlements and the return of refugees represent a monumental injustice.  The ease with which the US Government has endorsed this position is alarming.  The Palestinian people must be involved in any negotiated settlement.  The starting point for negotiations should be Security Council resolutions and other instruments as defined by the Quartet in the Road Map.

Last year Tony Blair assured world leaders that Palestine and Israel would be the highest priority of US and UK Foreign Policy.  We are seeking assurances from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that there remains a commitment to negotiating a just solution for the Palestinian people."

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