UN passes Russian peace resolution

The UN Security Council has voted unanimously for a Russian-drafted resolution backing the stalled Mideast "road map" to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Council voted unanimously for backing the road map

    The measure endorses the performance-based peace plan, formulated by the "quartet" of advisers on the Middle East: Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

    It "calls on the parties to fulfill their obligations under the road map in cooperation with the quartet and to achieve the vision of two states." 

    Moscow's UN ambassador, Sergei Lavrov, first circulated the resolution late last month and introduced it to the 15-member council on Monday, after which the United States made some minor changes. 

    Chief Palestinian negotiator Saib Uraikat welcomed the council's move.

    "We are pleased with this vote and we hope that the quartet will establish a mechanism to apply the road map," Uraikat told the media.

    "The international community must push through the deployment of an international force to apply the peace plan without conditions and without waiting until the Israeli government tries to impose facts on the ground." 

    Israel's objection 

    Israel believes such a resolution is unnecessary and does
    not want UN involvement in the peace process. 
    But Russia, frustrated by the continuing violence between
    Israel and the Palestinians and the lack of peace talks,
    insisted it wanted to breathe life back into the "road map"
    Moscow helped design a year ago. 

    Ariel Sharon tried to presuade 
    the Russians to drop their quest

    The road map lays out steps the two sides should take towards setting up a Palestinian state by 2005.

    Lavrov said earlier he had introduced the resolution because the council had to show the new Palestinian government it had UN support for what it needed from the Israelis and to tell Palestinians they had obligations "to implement on the ground which would be for security improvement."

    Sharon during a visit to Moscow in early November tried to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to drop the quest for a resolution. The Russian president was reported to be considering it, but then went along with his foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, to push the measure. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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