MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
6 September 1999
Middle East Peace Process: Signing Of The Revised Wye River Agreement
I warmly welcome the signing on 4 September 1999 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, of the revised Wye River Agreement.
The undertakings of both parties to adhere to a timetable for the implementation of steps agreed upon last October reflect their genuine desire to move forward in an atmosphere of renewed trust and mutual confidence.
The fact that both Israel and the Palestinians were able, through negotiation, to arrive at an agreement containing concrete and specific details for the next steps in the process is a positive and significant development.
I applaud the particular contributions made by the United States and Egypt to the achievement of that outcome.
With the expected implementation of the revised agreement over the next few months, the focus of the Middle East peace process has turned decisively towards dealing with final status issues. Both sides are now committed to the negotiation of a framework agreement on all permanent status issues by February 2000, and to achieving a detailed agreement on a permanent peace settlement within a year.
I wish both sides every success in their pursuit of those challenging targets. I also hope that the latest agreement will help renew progress towards a comprehensive peace between Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
Minister - Innes Willox 02 6277 7500
Department - Tony Melville 02 6261 1555
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