Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the Middle East peace talks

Cather­ine Ash­ton, the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Union for For­eign Affairs and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy and Vice-Pres­i­dent of the Com­mis­sion made the fol­low­ing statement:

“I have spo­ken with Sen­a­tor George Mitchell and Quar­tet Envoy Tony Blair today on the lat­est devel­op­ments regard­ing the Mid­dle East peace talks and I will speak short­ly to Pres­i­dent Abbas and Prime Min­is­ter Netanyahu.

I regret the Israeli deci­sion not to extend the mora­to­ri­um on set­tle­ments. We are exam­in­ing the con­se­quences of this deci­sion and con­sult­ing with the par­ties and our Quar­tet and Arab partners.

The Quar­tet wel­comed Israel’s mora­to­ri­um and the pos­i­tive atmos­phere it cre­at­ed for the nego­ti­a­tions. Both Pales­tini­ans and Israelis have an oblig­a­tion to act in accor­dance with pre­vi­ous agree­ments and oblig­a­tions, includ­ing the Roadmap. The posi­tion of the EU is very clear: set­tle­ments are ille­gal under inter­na­tion­al law, con­sti­tute an obsta­cle to peace and threat­en to make a two-state solu­tion impossible.

I urge the par­ties to act respon­si­bly. There is no alter­na­tive to a nego­ti­at­ed solu­tion. There­fore, it is in everybody’s inter­est to find a sat­is­fac­to­ry way for the nego­ti­a­tions to con­tin­ue and gath­er momen­tum. The EU stands firm on our full sup­port to the goal of two states, Israel and Pales­tine, liv­ing side by side in peace and secu­ri­ty, as part of a just and com­pre­hen­sive peace. We will do what­ev­er is pos­si­ble to help both par­ties choose the path of peace and reach a suc­cess­ful outcome.” 

Coun­cil of the Euro­pean Union 

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