§ 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.