EU — Council conclusions on Middle East Peace Process

3091st FOREIGN AFFAIRS Coun­cil meet­ing
Brus­sels, 23 May 2011

The Coun­cil adopt­ed the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions:
“1. The fun­da­men­tal changes across the Arab world have made the need for progress on the Mid­dle East Peace Process all the more urgent. Recent events have indeed shown the neces­si­ty of heed­ing the legit­i­mate aspi­ra­tions of peo­ples in the region, includ­ing those of Pales­tini­ans for state­hood, and of Israelis for secu­ri­ty.

2. The EU is deeply con­cerned about the con­tin­u­ing stale­mate in the Peace Process and calls for the urgent resump­tion of direct nego­ti­a­tions lead­ing to a com­pre­hen­sive solu­tion on all tracks. Our goal remains a just and last­ing res­o­lu­tion to the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict, with the State of Israel and an inde­pen­dent, demo­c­ra­t­ic, con­tigu­ous, sov­er­eign and viable State of Pales­tine, liv­ing side by side in peace and secu­ri­ty and mutu­al recog­ni­tion. A way must be found through nego­ti­a­tions to resolve the sta­tus of Jerusalem as the future cap­i­tal of two States. Recall­ing the Berlin Dec­la­ra­tion, the EU reit­er­ates its readi­ness to rec­og­nize a Pales­tin­ian State when appropriate.

3. The EU believes that nego­ti­a­tions are the best way for­ward, if there is to be a last­ing res­o­lu­tion to the con­flict. The par­ties and the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty must con­tribute to the resump­tion of sub­stan­tive talks as a mat­ter of urgency, lead­ing to a frame­work agree­ment by Sep­tem­ber 2011, as agreed by the par­ties and endorsed by the Quar­tet. In this regard the EU wel­comes the recent con­sul­ta­tions between the par­ties and the Quar­tet envoys.

4. The EU believes that clear para­me­ters defin­ing the basis for nego­ti­a­tions are key ele­ments for a suc­cess­ful out­come, togeth­er with the avoid­ing of uni­lat­er­al mea­sures and acts on the ground which under­mine con­fi­dence. The Coun­cil wel­comes Pres­i­dent Obama’s speech which sets out impor­tant ele­ments con­tribut­ing to the resump­tion of nego­ti­a­tions. The EU has set out and will active­ly pro­mote its posi­tion with regard to para­me­ters in Coun­cil Con­clu­sions of Decem­ber 2009 and Decem­ber 2010, and as expressed by the EU in the UN Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil on 21 April 2011. On this basis, it looks for­ward to an ear­ly meet­ing of the Quar­tet Prin­ci­pals to take the process forward. 

5. The EU sup­ports the hold­ing of an inter­na­tion­al donors’ con­fer­ence for the Pales­tin­ian State this June in Paris also in view of the resump­tion of negotiations.

6. The EU has con­sis­tent­ly called for intra-Pales­tin­ian rec­on­cil­i­a­tion behind Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Abbas as an impor­tant ele­ment for the uni­ty of a future Pales­tin­ian state and for reach­ing a two state solu­tion. Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion should also be in the long term inter­est of Israel by help­ing to engage all par­ties in a process lead­ing to a sus­tain­able peace agree­ment. The EU wel­comes that Pales­tin­ian rec­on­cil­i­a­tion has led to the ces­sa­tion of rock­et attacks from the Gaza Strip and insists on the need for a per­ma­nent truce. In this regard, the EU reit­er­ates its call for the lift­ing of Gaza closure.

7. The Coun­cil hopes that this new con­text will favour with­out delay the uncon­di­tion­al release of abduct­ed Israeli sol­dier Gilad Shalit.

8. The EU wel­comes the agree­ment signed in Cairo on 3 May. The Coun­cil com­mends the suc­cess­ful medi­a­tion of the Egypt­ian author­i­ties and encour­ages fur­ther efforts in sup­port of the full imple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment. The EU wel­comes that Pres­i­dent Abbas, as Chair­man of the PLO, will be the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Pales­tini­ans in peace negotiations.

9. In this con­text, the EU stands ready to reac­ti­vate the EUBAM Rafah Mis­sion, once polit­i­cal and secu­ri­ty con­di­tions allow, in order to ensure the EU third par­ty role at the Rafah cross­ing point, as set out in the 2005 Agree­ment on Move­ment and Access.

10. The EU looks for­ward to con­tin­u­ing its sup­port, includ­ing through direct finan­cial sup­port, for a new Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment com­posed of inde­pen­dent fig­ures that com­mits to the prin­ci­ples set out in Pres­i­dent Abbas’ speech on 4 May. Such a gov­ern­ment should uphold the prin­ci­ple of non-vio­lence, and remain com­mit­ted to achiev­ing a two-state solu­tion and to a nego­ti­at­ed peace­ful set­tle­ment of the Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict accept­ing pre­vi­ous agree­ments and oblig­a­tions, includ­ing Israel’s legit­i­mate right to exist. The EU’s ongo­ing engage­ment with a new Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment will be based on its adher­ence to these poli­cies and com­mit­ments. The EU calls on the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty, Israel, and region­al part­ners to work with the gov­ern­ment on this basis. The EU also looks for­ward to the hold­ing of elections.

11. The EU calls on Israel and the PA to con­tin­ue their coop­er­a­tion in all fields, includ­ing in terms of secu­ri­ty and trans­fer of rev­enues and to abstain from mea­sures that could ham­per progress and fur­ther reforms.

12. The EU calls on the future Pales­tin­ian gov­ern­ment to con­tin­ue the PA’s insti­tu­tion-build­ing efforts and to uphold cur­rent stan­dards in terms of trans­par­ent and effi­cient pub­lic finance man­age­ment, as con­sis­tent­ly com­mend­ed by the UN, the IMF and the World Bank, most recent­ly dur­ing the AHLC meet­ing host­ed by the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive on 13 April in Brus­sels. The EU wel­comes the out­come of the reports which state that the PA is above the thresh­old for a func­tion­ing state in the key sec­tors stud­ied. In this regard the EU express­es its full appre­ci­a­tion of the cur­rent Government’s suc­cess in imple­ment­ing the state build­ing plan. 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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