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French Version

Resolution 1397: A step forward.

The United Nations have just adopted a resolution (1397) on unanimous decision minus Syria's abstention, which "affirmed a vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, lived side by side within secure and recognized borders".

This resolution, presented by the United States, intervenes after thecycle of violences that reached its paroxysm during the past weeks. It underlines also Saudi Crowned Prince Abdallah's initiative who recently stated to be ready to grant a normalization of the relations between the Arab countries and Israel, in exchange of a return to the 1967 borders. This proposal of the Prince should be officialy discussed at the Arab summit that will take place in Beirut (Lebanon) on the 27 and 28 of March 2002.

UN is the only organisation still with enough authority to implement such a resolution, given the lack of confidence US are facing from the Arabs, due to a foreign policy seen as pro israeli. In a statement after the September 11's attack, President Bush already mentionned a Palestinian State.
Mr Zinni, a special envoy, will be visiting the region in an attempt to convince both part to resume the peace process. A significant aspect of this resolution is the fact that UN stated it will remain seized of the matter.
This could be a message addressed by Washington to Tel Aviv, via UN. The conjunction of all these elements is likely to giveback a little hope to solve a conflict which will not find a solution without the intervention of external mediators.

Another fact which could be of importance in the close future, Israël's Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, abandoned the idea to respect a one week period of calm prior to any discussion. This led to the withdrawal of some parties from the coalition in power. Consequently, The Prime Minister finds himself in a tricky position after a year in fonction ending on a total setback, both on security and economic levels.

Still, this resolution is not the first, Israël took more than 20 years to withdraw from South Lebanon, and United States are used to play with this conflict according to their regional strategic interests.

Marseille,03 15 2002
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