"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
Date of release : 21-02-2005
Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations
Event : General Affairs and External Relations Council
After the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 21 February 2005, Jean Asselborn, current President of the Council of the European Union, presented a summary of the discussions of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Union on the situation in the Middle East.
On the Sharm el-Sheik Summit of 8 February, Jean Asselborn stated: "The Council has had an exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East following the Sharm el Sheik Summit of 8 February. The commitment made by the two parties to stop all acts of violence, and in parallel to cease all military activity, is imperative."
According to Jean Asselborn, "the Council has reaffirmed its determination to support the parties in their efforts and to work to push the peace process forward. The path of dialogue and political negotiations must be continued. We also welcomed yesterday's courageous adoption by the Israeli government of the plan to withdraw from Gaza and to evacuate four settlements in the West Bank, which I believe must be called a historical decision."
The Minister for Foreign Affairs emphasised that "the objective is always to realise the co-existence of the two States, through the creation of an independent democratic and viable Palestinian State, living alongside Israel and its other neighbours in peace and security." According to Jean Asselborn, "the road map and the Quartet, which will meet in London on 1 March, remain central to the success of this process. The visit of President Bush to Brussels on 22 February will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the common transatlantic agenda regarding the realisation of a fair, sustainable and global peace in the Middle East."