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Regional Meeting of Communist Parties - Press Statement

Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties of the Countries of the Southern
and Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Gulf Region

Athens, 5 January 2008


A meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties from countries of the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Gulf region was held in Athens on the 5th of January 2008 under the title: «The latest developments in the region – the plans for the “Greater Middle East” and the response of the Communist and Anti-imperialist movement».

In the meeting took part representatives from the Democratic Progressive Tribune – Bahrain, AKEL-Cyprus, Communist Party of Greece, Tudeh Party of Iran, Communist Party of Israel, Jordanian Communist Party, Lebanese Communist Party, Palestinian People's Party, Sudanese Communist Party, Syrian Communist Party, Syrian Communist Party and Communist Party of Turkey. Also participated Kyriakos Triantafillidis, MEP of AKEL and President of the Committee of the European Parliament for the Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council and Giorgos Toussas, MEP of KKE and member of the abovementioned committee. A delegation of the Communist Party of Cuba also attended and greeted the meeting.

This meeting, hosted in Athens by KKE, is a follow up of the previous extraordinary meeting on August 2006 motivated by the unjust military invasion of Israel in Lebanon and the continuous aggression against the Palestinian people. The parties of the region discussed the escalating imperialist intervention in the region and the serious problems that causes to the peoples the US-NATO plan for the “Greater Middle East”, as well as the intrusion of the most reactionary forces that has provoked the so-called “war against terrorism” in the broader region. The recently held Annapolis conference, which had been planned in line with the more general US plans, further complicates and sharpens the issue.

The participants noted that the Communists are at the forefront of the struggle for democracy and for the promotion of the people’s interests; of the political and ideological struggle in order to expose and confront the action of political forces who want to take advantage of the situation and present themselves as supporters and “protectors” of the people, when, in fact, they are motivated by their own particular interests and their competition with the USA. It was underscored the need for the people’s struggles to assume unified, class, political features. Concern was expressed for the triggering of religious, sectarian and ethnic divisions and conflicts. Quite a few participants denounced imperialist plans for dividing and dismantling of countries as well as the Zionist aggressiveness in the region.

The participants underlined the necessity to work actively for the creation of a united social and political front in the region with a broader international support of parties, movements and organisations, against the imperialist plan for the “Greater Middle East” and its alleged “democratization”.

Under the light of the recent developments, the participants expressed their concern for the possibility of a further escalation of the imperialist aggressiveness against the peoples of Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

Faced with this situation the participants consider that the international movement of solidarity with the peoples of the region must be strengthened, as well as the support on the struggle of the democratic and progressive forces of the region for democracy, freedom and social justice, for the unhindered political and trade-union action of the forces that struggle against imperialism, for the free and legal operation and activity of the progressive parties and movement.

They underlined the need to intensify even more the struggle to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of every country against any imperialist intervention under any pretext. They underscored that the peoples’ resistance and struggle is not terrorism. It is the right of every people to choose the forms of its struggle.

They committed to intensify their struggle in defence of the inalienable right of all people to determine themselves and sovereign decide on the future of their land. The participants expressed their solidarity with the socialist Cuba and demanded the lift of the US blockade.

The participants demanded:
  • Restoration of the sovereignty on Lebanon and the cessation of any control and blockade by air, sea and frontiers on Lebanon, as well as the daily Israeli violations. There is an need for reforms in order to counter the division of Lebanon across ethnic and religious lines.
  • The withdrawal of the Israeli army from the occupied, since 1967, Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territories, the complete dismantling of the settlements and the demolition of the Israeli wall. The creation of a Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital, alongside Israel. The solution of the issue of the refugees and the return of the Palestinian refugees based on the UN Assembly resolution 194 and in line with the related UN Security Council resolutions.
  • The immediate release by Israel of all the Lebanese, Palestinian and other Arab political prisoners.
  • A Middle East free from nuclear weapons, starting from the elimination of the nuclear arsenal of Israel.
  • The end up of threats and acts of intimidation by the USA and other imperialist forces, against the people of Syria and demanded the liberation of the high fields and the region of Golan.
  • The cessation of all threats of military attack or imposition of economic sanctions against Iran and solidarity with the struggle of the Iranian people for peace, democracy, human rights and social justice.
  • The immediate withdrawal of the imperialist occupation troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the right of the peoples to decide themselves about their own future.
  • The immediate cessation of the Turkish military operations against the Kurds in Northern Iraq that cause new imperialist interventions.
  • The withdrawal of the Turkish occupation forces from Cyprus and solution of the Cyprus Issue in accordance with the UN resolutions, the international law and the high level agreements that provide for a solution of bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
  • The removal of all foreign military bases from the countries of the region. Participants voiced against the establishment of new ones.

The meeting discussed a series of proposals for joint initiatives and action including:
  • Visits of joint delegations of Communist and Workers’ Parties to the countries of the region (especially Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Israel).
  • Co-ordination in the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Invitations to the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the region, especially from Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Israel, to take part in sessions of the European Parliament.
  • To continue with joint actions and mobilization of the parties during the following year. To take advantage of mass events, and initiatives like festivals, rallies etc for the strengthening of solidarity.
  • Support to the mobilizations in protest of the imperialist plans for a “New Middle East” on the occasion of Bush’s visit to the Middle East on January 2008.
  • Pressure on every government that accepts or does not react to the plan for the “New Middle East” and does not condemn the Israeli aggressiveness against the peoples of the region, the settlements, the dividing wall and the genocide against the Palestinian people.
Athens, 5 January 2008


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