The Swiss foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, has ended a three-day visit to Jordan after attending a ministerial meeting of countries belonging to the "Human Security" network.This content was published on May 12, 2001 - 21:21
The two-day meeting in the city of Petra, attended by thirteen countries including Switzerland, focused on the issue of security and stability in the Middle East.
The countries gave their backing to the latest Middle East peace plan, drawn up by Jordan and Egypt, aimed at ending the continuing violence between Israel and the Palestinians.
In a joint communiqué at the end of the two-day meeting, the participating countries called the peace plan "a basis for resolving the current crisis in the Palestinian territories and a means of restarting peace negotiations."
The plan foresees an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian areas, an end to blockades, a halt to Jewish settlements and the resumption of peace talks.
The meeting also focused on the controversial issue of the sale of light artillery. Switzerland among other nations called for an international conference to be held under the auspices of the United Nations on the sale of light artillery.
Switzerland presented to the meeting a "light artillery directory", which it said would act as a reliable source of information in the battle against the worldwide proliferation of such weapons.
The group of countries meeting in Jordan also adopted a resolution calling for better protection for children in the areas of work and human conflict, ahead of a special United Nations summit on the issue in September.
The Human Security network is an informal group of countries founded in 1998 to discuss initiatives in the sphere of global security. Apart from Switzerland and Jordan, other countries belonging to the group are Canada, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Thailand, Mali, South Africa and Chile.
swissinfo with agencies
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