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Quartet Statement - London, March 1, 2005

The Quartet met in London today and strongly reaffirmed our commitment to help Israelis and Palestinians make progress toward the two-state solution which is so deeply in both their interests. The Quartet condemned in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attack that occurred in Tel Aviv on February 25, which killed and wounded dozens of innocent victims and undermines the recent positive steps taken by Israel and the Palestinians. The Quartet called for immediate action by the Palestinian Authority to apprehend and bring to justice the perpetrators. The Quartet welcomed President Abbas’ condemnation of the attack and pledge to act against those responsible, noted the initial steps taken in this regard, and stressed the need for further and sustained action by the Palestinian Authority to prevent acts of terrorism. Noting the fragility of the current revived momentum in discussions the Quartet encourages the two parties to continue on the path of direct dialogue and negotiation.

The Quartet recognizes the importance of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit of February 8 at which President Abbas announced a halt to violence against all Israelis, and Prime Minister Sharon announced a halt to military activities against all Palestinians, and expresses its appreciation to Egypt and Jordan for their roles. The Quartet urges the full implementation of the mutual commitments made at the summit by both parties, and urges all countries to support their efforts. The Quartet commends the Israeli cabinet’s recent approval of the initiative to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the West Bank, and reiterates that withdrawal from Gaza should be full and complete and should be undertaken in a manner consistent with the Roadmap, as an important step toward the realization of the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The Quartet calls for the resumption of progress towards the implementation of both parties’ obligations under the Roadmap. The Quartet reiterates its view that no party should undertake unilateral actions that could prejudge the resolution of final status issues. Quartet members agree on the need to ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, including with contiguous territory in the West Bank. A state of scattered territories will not work.

The Quartet welcomes the recent vote of confidence by the PLC for a new Palestinian cabinet, as well as today's international meeting in London to support Palestinian institution building. The Quartet urges the international community to review and energize current donor coordination structures, with a view to streamlining them in order to increase their effectiveness. The Quartet emphasizes the need for the international community to play a vital role in providing additional financial support to the Palestinians, which is essential in order to support needed reforms, and to help prepare the Palestinian Authority prepare to assume control over areas from which Israel intends to withdraw. The Quartet members encourage an early meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee to prepare for a pledging conference shortly afterwards.

The Quartet members reiterated their commitment to the positions and principles outlined in their joint statements of 4 May and 22 September 2004. The Quartet remains ready to engage actively, reaffirms its encouragement and support for both sides for the progress they have made in recent weeks, and reiterates its commitment to the fulfillment of the vision of two states, a safe and secure Israel and a sovereign, contiguous, democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.