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 areunhelpful to the process of negotiating a just solution inIsrael/Palestine.   

From the Palestinian perspective the suggestions regarding WestBank settlements and the return of refugees represent a monumentalinjustice.  The ease with which the US Government has endorsedthis position is alarming.  The Palestinian peoplemust be involved in any negotiated settlement.  The startingpoint for negotiations should be Security Council resolutions andother instruments as defined by the Quartet in the Road Map.

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