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Sharm El-Sheikh Security Meeting Reiterates Urgency of ‘Calm’ in West Bank


Asharq Al-Awsat


Participants in the security meeting of Sharm El Sheikh have stressed the urgency of achieving calm in the Palestinian territories.
They reiterated in a statement on Sunday their commitment to reinforce the security and stability of Israelis and Palestinians, expressing their will to hold another meeting in Egypt.
Egyptian, Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian, and American security officials and politicians convened in Sharm El Sheikh to pursue the understanding reached in Aqaba on Feb. 26.
A reliable Egyptian source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting reiterated the agreements reached in Aqaba, in hope that Israel abide by them.
The five parties held thorough discussions on ways to deescalate tension between Palestinians and Israelis in order to reach a peaceful settlement, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement published on Facebook.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to advancing security, stability, and peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike, and recognized the necessity of deescalation, the prevention of further violence, as well as of pursuing confidence-building measures and addressing outstanding issues through direct dialogue.
“The Government of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority reaffirmed their joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months. This includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for 4 months, and to stop authorization of any outposts for 6 months,” the concluding statement read.
The two sides reaffirmed “their unwavering commitment to all previous agreements between them, in particular, the legal right of the Palestinian National Authority to carry out the security responsibilities in Area (A) of the West Bank, in accordance with existing agreements.”
They agreed “to develop a mechanism to curb and counter-violence, incitement, and inflammatory statements and actions, which will report to the quintet leadership in April, in a resumed session of the meeting in Sharm El Sheikh.”
“The Parties agreed to establish a mechanism to take the necessary steps towards improving the economic conditions of the Palestinian people, per previous agreements, and to significantly enhance the fiscal situation of the Palestinian National Authority, which will report to the quintet leadership in April, in a resumed session of the meeting in Sharm El Sheikh.”
“They also reiterated the commitment of upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the Holy Sites in Jerusalem, both in word and in practice.”
“They emphasized the necessity of both Israelis and Palestinians to actively prevent any actions that would disrupt the sanctity of these sites, inter alia during the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan.”
“The Parties reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the meetings under this format and are looking forward to cooperating with a view to consolidating the basis for direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, towards achieving comprehensive, just, and lasting peace.”
A reliable Egyptian source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Asharq Al-Awsat that it has been agreed to gradually stop the violent acts and to achieve stability, which allows for the return of security coordination between both parties.
“The matters will be dealt with gradually ... until full coordination is reached.”
The source further warned of possible assassinations.
He noted that Israel didn’t pledge this time to commit to the meeting outcomes, unlike the Aqaba meeting, but the American side was clear and insisted that the Israeli government abides by them.

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