PAM visit in the Middle East – “Now in a better position to define how PAM can further support the peace process” – Hon. George Vella, Rapporteur, Ad Hoc Committee on the Middle East

The 1st Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean has unanimously endorsed the Report on the Visit to the Middle East by a high-level delegation led by PAM President, the Hon. Rudy Salles. The mission took place between 18 and 21 May 2009.
The Report was prepared by Hon. George Vella (Malta), Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Middle East. In his Report Dr. Vella gave a thorough overview of the fact-finding mission in four Middle East countries, namely Egypt, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Israel and Jordan. There, a number of meetings were held with representatives of the different stakeholders in the area and many issues of concern to the progress of the peace process and to the immediate needs of the Palestinian civilian population were raised and discussed.
Among the achievements of the mission, Dr. Vella mentioned how PAM is now in a better position to understand more broadly in what manner it could support and go along with the Peace Process in the region. The delegation was also able to observe at first-hand the current situation in Gaza and the plight of the Palestinians following the destruction by the Israeli armed forces.
An important aspect of the mission was the reestablishment of contacts and dialogue with the Knesset, which announced that it will sit again at the next PAM Plenary Session in Turkey this October. Dr. Vella also highlighted the joint declaration issued by the respective Presidents of the Euromediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) whereby they pledged to collaborate and support the international efforts to achieve peace in the region.
“Throughout this mission, PAM made the political players we met with more aware of the tool that is regional parliamentary diplomacy and showed that they supported the Quartet and Arab peace
initiatives as well as new approaches for achieving peace in the region through the use of dialogue,” Dr. Vella continued.
At the end of the presentation of the Middle East Visit Report, Dr. Vella tabled his conclusions as Rapporteur of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Middle East. The Report acknowledges current developments and incorporates a future vision according to the ongoing developments. Given the particular moment and the ever-changing situation on the ground and in the political process, it has also been agreed to consider the Report as an open document whereby delegations can continue to contribute their submissions until it is presented for adoption at the Plenary Session of the Assembly in October.

ISSUED ON: 26.06.2009

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