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Press Release
Jean Asselborn on the Middle East: "This seems like a most appropriate time for a true re-launch of the peace process"

Date of release : 31-01-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : General Affairs and External Relations Council

During a press briefing after a luncheon of the EU ministers for foreign affairs, meeting in the "General Affairs and External Relations Council" on 31 January in Brussels, Jean Asselborn, President in Office of the Council, stated:

"During the luncheon we discussed the encouraging developments of the past days and weeks. I had the opportunity to witness this trend during the Presidency’s recent visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, where I was also able to whitness personally the determination of both sides to move forward. It seems like an auspicious moment for a true re-launch of the peace process. Palestinian commitments in terms of security and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians in order to implement the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and certain parts of the northern West Bank must be pursued.

In this context, we welcome the announcement of an upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas and the preparations for this meeting that are proceeding very sartisfactorily. The European Union indicated its clear and determined support for the creation of an environment conducive to these efforts. Today we committed ourselves to developing our Short-Term Action Plan, adopted at the European Council last November. It is imperative to build on this positive trend and support efforts at every level in order to pursue the process identified in the roadmap based on the coexistence of the two States and leading to the creation of an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State, living side-by-side with Israel and its other neighbours in peace and security.

The importance of a broader political perspective and a comprehensive peace that includes the Syrian-Lebanese component was also noted during our discussions."

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This page was last modified on : 01-02-2005

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