HL Deb 07 February 2005 vol 669 cc85-6WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What assessment they have made of the value of international monitors and observers in Israel and Palestine, both during and after elections; what assistance they have given to British and European monitors; and whether this aspect of conflict resolution will be discussed at the forthcoming conference in London. [HL1036]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The European Union sent a substantial monitoring team to the Palestinian presidential election on 9 January led by former French Prime Minister Michel Rocard. In addition, the UK Government provided financial and practical assistance to a cross-party group of four Members of Parliament to observe the election. I would like to thank the international monitors and observers, who played an invaluable part in ensuring that this was free and fair.

The agenda for the London meeting on 1 March has not yet been finalised, and will in any case depend on what the Palestinian and other delegates wish to discuss. However, we expect it to focus on helping the Palestinians develop their institutions in preparation for a future viable and contiguous Palestinian state, living with a secure Israel, which is the ultimate goal of the road map.