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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations - Security Council (New York)

Debate on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Statement on behalf of the European Union by H.E. Ambassador Sanja Štiglic, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the United Nations

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Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,* the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.

Mr. President,

The European Union is deeply concerned about recent violence affecting Gaza and communities in Southern Israel. While recognising Israel's legitimate rights to selfdefence, the EU calls for an immediate end to all acts of violence including the continued firing of rockets into Israeli territory and all activities which are contrary to international law and endanger civilians. The EU reiterates its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and calls for the continuous provision of essential services, including fuel and power supplies. The EU reiterates its call on all parties for unimpeded humanitarian access to Gaza and to work urgently for the opening of the crossings for goods and people.

The EU welcomes the start of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian officials on all outstanding issues, including all final status issues, in view of concluding a peace agreement before the end of 2008 as agreed in Annapolis last November. The EU reaffirms that this is a crucial opportunity for regional and international partners to effectively support a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. In this context, the EU calls for a continued broad and constructive involvement by Arab partners, building on the Arab Peace Initiative. The EU urges the parties to implement their Road Map obligations in parallel to their negotiations. The goal remains the establishment of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza that will unite all Palestinians, living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours. Recent settlement activity constitutes another EU concern in this context, representing a major obstacle to peace. The EU reiterates that the Road Map is unambiguous in this regard.

The EU is firmly committed to remain actively involved in order to support the parties' efforts to keep the negotiation on track, working closely with other members of the Quartet and partners in the region. The EU remains determined to contribute significantly to this effort, as laid down in its Action Strategy; “State building for Peace in the Middle East”, which covers the broad range of its assistance activities.

The EU welcomes the results of the International Donors' Conference for the Palestinian State last December, namely over 7,4 billion US-$ in pledges, and calls on all donors to deliver on their pledges in support of efforts to build the future Palestinian State in accordance with the Reform and Development Plan presented by Prime Minister Fayyad. In this context, the EU recalls the utmost importance of the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access. The EU is committed to providing substantial financial support for the Palestinian people, and working out the means to do it. In this context the EU continues to support the work of the Quartet Representative, Tony Blair.

In conclusion, Mr. President, allow me to once more reiterate The European Union's concern at the surge of violence in and around Gaza and calls on all the parties to exercise utmost restraint and refrain from use of force. The EU appeals to all sides for calm, particularly in this time of renewed political process.

Thank you Mr. President.


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


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Date: 06.02.2008