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MAE de L'Autriche Plassnik: "L'enchevêtrement des relations entre l'UE et l'Israël" - Réunion du Conseil d'Assoc. UE-Israël - Communiqué de presse de la présidence de l'UE/source extérieure à l'ONU (extraits) Français
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Source: European Union (EU)
13 June 2006

Plassnik: "Intricate web of relations between the EU and Israel"

Foreign Minister chairs EU-Israel Association Council


"Today’s (sixth) EU-Israel Association Council has again made us aware of Europe’s deep ties with Israel and our manifold and intricate web of relations", Foreign Minister and Council President Ursula Plassnik remarked after the meeting with her Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni.

“Our relations are characterised by solidarity and a willingness to lend our partner in the region our support; for instance, with the EU missions to reform the Palestinian security forces and monitor the Rafah border crossing. We regard the Middle East as part of our immediate neighbourhood, the security and stability of which affect Europe directly”, said the Foreign Minister.

Plassnik pointed out that, during the Austrian EU Presidency, relations with the Middle East had gone through an intensive phase following the victory of Hamas in the elections in the Palestinian Territories and the elections to the Israeli Knesset. The starting point for the EU’s active role in the region according to Plassnik was the clear acceptance of a negotiated solution based on the two-state principle. The EU was working tenaciously to bring the partners back to the negotiating table.

“What we have in common is our mutual interest in a peaceful and stable two-state solution. The recent eruption of violence in the region shows that the lack of prospects for a peaceful solution is causing increasing internal tension. However, violence is a dead end and never a solution”, Plassnik stressed. In this context, she also cited the shocking incident on Gaza beach, which cost the lives of many Palestinians, including women and children, and implored both sides to exercise restraint.

The Foreign Minister referred to the EU's efforts to develop an international payment mechanism to support the Palestinian people. This support in a difficult humanitarian situation was linked to a clear message to Hamas: renounce violence, recognise Israel's right to exist and respect existing agreements: "We do not want to punish the Palestinians because of their election, but strongly encourage Hamas to reconsider.”

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