Tenth Meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council Statement of the European Union (22/02/2011)
Statement of the European Union
1.The European Union warmly welcomes this tenth meeting of the EU-Israel Association Council. This meeting demonstrates the great significance the European Union attaches to its relations with the State of Israel and the importance of further developing our broad bilateral partnership. The EU reiterates the importance it attaches to the dialogue and cooperation with Israel.
2.Recalling the EU’s position as expressed at the Association Council in June 2009 and in ensuing Council conclusions in December 2010, the EU remains ready to continue to develop its bilateral relations with Israel within the current European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) framework. Both parties have actively pursued the implementation of the existing EU-Israel ENP Action Plan and [agreed on its extension until June 2011]. In this framework the EU is prepared to further explore with Israel the opportunities still offered by the current Action Plan in a number of sectors and policy areas, on which progress can be achieved in 2011, as set out in points 42 and 43, and pursue technical talks in order to identify areas for future potential cooperation.
3.The next ENP Progress Report for Israel will be published in April 2011, thoroughly assessing the progress made with regard to the implementation of the priorities that were identified by the Action Plan and have been jointly addressed since the Plan’s adoption in April 2005.
4.The ongoing ENP review offers the opportunity for further reflection on the terms of the EU future relations with its partner countries, including Israel. Consultations between the EU and all stakeholders in the ENP are continuing,. The EU welcomes the useful contribution Israel has been providing so far in this debate, and looks forward to continuing the ongoing dialogue.
5.The EU remains fully committed to the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The UfM gives a new impetus to EU cooperation with its Mediterranean partners. Tangible progresses and joint efforts are required with regard to projects to strengthen regional integration in the Mediterranean. In this context, the EU welcomes Israel’s role and engagement in developing this partnership.
6.The EU reiterates its commitment towards the security of Israel and its full integration into the region, which is best guaranteed through peace between Israel and its neighbours. As regards the Middle East Peace Process, as set out in its Council Conclusions of December 2010, the EU believes that urgent progress is needed towards a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The EU wants to see the State of Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security. The legitimacy of the State of Israel and the right of Palestinians to achieve statehood must never be called into question.
7.The EU underlines the importance of concluding negotiations between the parties by September 2011 as set out by the Quartet in its statement of February 5, 2011, and calls for the urgent resumption of negotiations on all final status issues, respecting previous agreements and understandings. To this end, the EU reaffirms its support to the US efforts in order to bring the parties back to the negotiating table. The EU welcomes the Quartet’s agreement to meet again at the level of Principals in mid-March on the way ahead and at the level of envoys to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Brussels as well as representatives of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee. To this end, the EU urges both Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to engage constructively with the Quartet on all core issues including borders and security.
8.The EU reiterates its views as set out in the December 2009 Council Conclusions as regards the key parameters, principles and issues of an agreed solution. The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. This could include agreed territorial swaps. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. The EU calls for an agreed, just, fair and realistic solution to the refugee question. A negotiated settlement must allow the two States to live side by side in peace and security.
9.Developments on the ground play a crucial part in creating the context for successful negotiations. The EU notes with regret that Israel has not extended the moratorium as requested by the EU, the US and the Quartet, and reiterates its views that settlements, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace…
Thanks to nonymous for the link.
Comment by Adamantine:
Remember that while this report seems to come from the EU it was actually the WEU that appears to have initiated the plan and discussion in December 2009