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India to attend the Annapolis Conference for Peace in the Middle East, November 26-28, 2007, Annapolis, USA

Washington, DC
November 26, 2007

The Hon’ble Minister for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, Mr. Kapil Sibal, is leading an Indian delegation to the Annapolis Peace Conference on the Middle East, November 26-28, 2007 and is accompanied by Ambassador Gharekhan the Special Envoy for West Asia. Soon after his arrival in Washington he had bilateral meetings with some counterparts from other developing countries. He had a half an hour meeting with Secretary General of the Arab League H.E. Amre Moussa on 26 November, 2007 when the two leaders discussed bilateral issues but more significantly the Israel-Palestine issue and regional developments in West Asia. Mr. Amre Moussa gave his assessment to the Minister about the Israel-Palestine dialogue, the role of the Arab League and related issues including developments leading up to the Annapolis Summit. The two leaders decided to keep in touch with each other during the Summit and its follow-up. 

The Hon’ble Minister met with the Brazilian and South African Foreign Ministers H.E. Mr. Amorin and H.E. Dr. Zuma at a working lunch hosted by the Brazilian Foreign Minister in Washington. The three leaders were of the view that the Annapolis Summit was a positive development that needs to be supported by the international community, in order to assist the peace dialogue between Israel and Palestine. They felt that the international community has a positive and contributory role to play in this regard now, and later in the follow-up mechanism of the Conference. India believes that in the course of negotiations at Annapolis the international community will emphasise the necessity of resolving the Palestine-Israeli conflict through dialogue, consensus and mutual understanding and that resort to violence is an unacceptable means to such resolution. Hopefully the parameters of the future course of action will be resolved at Annapolis allowing establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living side by side, at peace with the State of Israel within secure and recognized borders.

India like other IBSA members also supports the need for a comprehensive peace and stability in the region by addressing Palestine-Israel and other remaining tracks.