Foreign Ministry on Statement by Nelson Mandela Statement at Non-Aligned Movement Conference

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
4 September 1998

In a statement issued last night (Thursday), 3.9.98, the Foreign Ministry related to statements made by South African President Nelson Mandela:

Israel wishes to express its dismay over the remarks made by South African President Nelson Mandela at the start of the Non-Aligned Movement conference in Durban, South Africa, where Mandela accused the Israeli government and its prime minister of both blocking progress toward a just and peaceful solution, and favoring narrow, chauvinist interests. Mandela’s call for the establishment of a Palestinian state represents an attempt to determine facts on the ground — in advance of negotiations — and empties the negotiating process of all content.

Israel reiterates its commitment to the peace process and to achieving an agreement of peace and security with the Palestinians.

Further, Israel again calls on South Africa and on other member-states of the Non-Aligned Movement which genuinely wish to assist the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from unjust, one-sided attacks against the Israeli government and its prime minister — and to prevail upon the Palestinians to fulfill their commitments, in accordance with the Oslo Accord, to combat terrorism and its infrastructure and to amend the Palestinian charter.