Question of Palestine home
"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
17 July 2007
Brussels, 17 July 2007
Summary of remarks on the Middle East and Kosovo by
EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
Javier SOLANA spoke to journalists today before leaving Brussels to begin his trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. He told them that he had had a meeting with Tony Blair over lunch and that they had had "a very good, long and serious conversation". They would meet again in Lisbon, after Mr Solana's trip, and they would be cooperating very closely. Mr Blair would be visiting the Middle East soon. Mr Solana said Mr Blair's role would be fundamental: "As you know, he has a mandate from the Quartet to try to build the Palestinian institutions and to rally the international community to provide economic support and to see how the two-state solution can be achieved; for that the Palestinians need to be prepared. Mr Blair is working on that with great determination and enthusiasm."
Asked by journalists for his reaction to the yesterday's address by President Bush, Mr Solana said it was a very positive and contained elements that had never been said before. "It is a speech that not only talks about but gives reassurance about the two-state solution and it goes beyond that to see how this model, this vision of two states can be realised in practice on the ground." This was, said Mr Solana, the line that the European Union had always pursued and the EU would continue working with the United States, within the Quartet, to see how the political process leading to could be launched.
Mr Solana said that the United States' commitment to help the Palestinians economically and politically, and the fact that there is to be an international meeting in the autumn to move the process forward showed "a determination not only to talk about the two-state solution but to express a vision and to see how that vision can become a reality."
Responding to questions, Mr Solana assured the press that the European Union was united in its policy on the Middle-East Peace Process, which would be discussed again at the meeting next Monday. "What we want", he said, "is to have a Palestinian state". He stressed that the EU would continue to give economic aid to the Palestinians, and this included humanitarian aid to Gaza; this was, he said, "absolutely fundamental." Mr Solana also said the talks between President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert should continue and we underlined that "We want to make every effort to put in place a political process to advance peace."