HC Deb 12 March 1980 vol 980 c1324
12. Mr. Walters

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will make a statement on progress towards peace in the Middle East.

Sir Ian Gilmour

We recognise the urgent need for further progress towards a comprehensive peace settlement. We hope that current efforts will lead to such progress. Meanwhile, we are considering with our European partners how we can best contribute to that end.

Mr. Walters

President Giscard has recently spelt out very clearly that the right to self-determination for the Palestinians is an essential ingredient for achieving a lasting peace. Does not my right hon. Friend agree that the accepttance of such a principle must form an integral part of any European initiative for peace in the Middle East?

Sir I. Gilmour

President Giscard was stating what has been the position of the Nine since last Autumn. I agree that Palestinian self-determination must be one element in a comprehensive settlement. Another, as the Prime Minister said on French television the night before last, is that the Palestinian people must undertake to recognise that Israel has a right to exist within secure borders.

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