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European Union (EU)
15 April 2004
Brussels, 15 April 2004
EU High Representative for the CFSP
following the meeting between President Bush
and Prime Minister Sharon
Javier Solana, EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), made the following comments after the meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon on Wednesday:
"I welcome the Israeli Prime Minister's proposals for disengagement from Gaza. This represents an opportunity to restart the implementation of the Roadmap, as endorsed by the UN Security Council.
The EU remains committed to a negotiated agreement resulting in two viable, sovereign and independent States, Israel and Palestine, as the only way to achieve a permanent peace and an end to the occupation that began in 1967, in the framework of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Final status issues can only be resolved by mutual agreement between the parties.
EU Heads of State and government recently indicated that they would not recognize any change to the pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties. A permanent settlement must also include an agreed, just, fair and realistic solution to the refugee issue.
The EU also underlines the need for Israel to coordinate with the Palestinian Authority practical arrangements for an orderly hand-over of responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority should demonstrate its readiness to assume these responsibilities in particular in the areas of security and good governance.
The Quartet will now examine in detail the proposals by Prime Minister Sharon. It should lead the efforts of the international community in support of the implementation of the disengagement plan. The EU remains ready to play its full part in helping build up the capabilities of the Palestinian Authority in the economic, security and administrative areas. The EU will continue to be a major contributor to the reconstruction and long term development of the future Palestinian State."