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Palestinian Right of Return on the International Agenda

BRITAIN (MENL, 1/12/99): Deputy Foreign Minister Peter Hain told parliament that London backed United Nations resolution 194 that calls for refugees to be allowed to choose between return and compensation. He said Britain found it "intolerable" that the refugee issue would not be resolved in current Israeli-Palestinian talks. Hain said the international community had a "moral duty" to solve the problem of the Palestinian refugees. "Refugees shall return to their homes and compensation should be paid for the property of those who choose not to return," Hain said. "The interests of the refugees and their rights to live in justice and freedom must not be forgotten."

EUROPEAN UNION (Daily Star, Beirut, 1/12/99): Visiting European envoy Miguel Moratinos promised to help fulfill Palestinian and Lebanese demands that Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to their homeland as part of a final peace agreement with Israel. The EU considered the return of Palestinian refugees "essential for securing a stable and conclusive peace in the region," Moratinos said after meeting Lebanese Prime Minister Salim Hoss. He assured Hoss that the EU would back Lebanese and Palestinian authorities on this point