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Statements in International Organisations


OSCE - Permanent Council No. 709. EU statement in response to the address by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, H.E. Amr Moussa

EU statement delivered by H.E. Ambassador Stanislav Raščan

The EU warmly welcomes the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, H.E. Amr Moussa, to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his address.

In the past few years, the European Union and the League of Arab States have sought to intensify their contacts. The recent meeting of Foreign Ministers from the European Union and the League of Arab States, which took place in Malta on 11 February 2008, reaffirmed that their commitment to peace and the respect of democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms remains central in the dialogue between the EU and the League of Arab States and that this dialogue is guided by the principle of mutual respect. The meeting provided a particularly useful and constructive opportunity for open dialogue on enhanced cooperation on regional and global issues of common concern and identified a number of potential areas that deserve to be explored in existing frameworks, recognising that this could be used to continue the dialogue.

The OSCE is a prime example of what can be achieved when states work together towards a common goal. We welcome the fact that the League of Arab States shares this conviction in international cooperation. We are pleased that it is possible for our two organisations to exchange views on issues of common concern and for the OSCE to develop contacts with regional organisations outside the OSCE area.

The EU values the contribution that the OSCE Partners for Cooperation make to this organisation. We look forward to continuing to engage with our Partners on issues of common relevance to the OSCE and their regions in all three dimensions. We also support the efforts of our Partners to promote the OSCE’s norms, principles and commitments in their regions, and encourage them to take further steps towards their voluntary implementation. This cooperation complements the fruitful exchanges between the EU and its Mediterranean Partners in the Barcelona Process.

In the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the EU and its Member States are actively promoting dialogue, mutual understanding and respect through a number of existing mechanisms and new initiatives. Through an open exchange of opinions under the protection of the freedom of expression, mutual understanding can be deepened and mutual respect can be built. In this context, the EU is ready to examine possibilities for interaction between the Alliance of Civilisations and the OSCE, notably on practical projects where cooperation would be of mutual benefit.

The European Union welcomes close cooperation and exchange of best practices between the League of Arab States and the OSCE in all three dimensions, especially with regard to gender issues, environmental security, and issues relating to security sector reform. The control of small arms and light weapons, including their ammunition, as well as the wider field of confidence and security building measures are areas where dialogue has started and should be continued in the future.

The EU seeks to promote peace and stability throughout the world. A central aim of the EU is the achievement of lasting peace in the Middle East by means of a two-state solution leading to a final and comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on implementation of the Road Map, with Israel and a democratic, viable, peaceful and sovereign Palestinian State living side-by-side within secure and recognised borders enjoying normal relations with their neighbours in accordance with all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and on the principles of the Madrid Conference. The EU also emphasises the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative as a major element in moving the Middle East Peace Process forward. Finally, the EU expresses its full support for the Annapolis process and its commitment to help the parties in their negotiations with a view to achieving a two-state solution.

Your Excellency, in conclusion, the EU would like to express its gratitude for your presence here today. It is a concrete sign of the good relations between the OSCE and the League of Arab States. We hope that these relations will continue to benefit both organisations now and into the future.

The candidate countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the European Free Trade Association country and member of the European Economic Area Norway, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process


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Date: 16.05.2008