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Source: European Union (EU)
18 February 2005



Jean Asselborn: "Egypt plays an important role in the Middle East Peace Process"

Date of release : 18-02-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Jean Asselborn, Minister for Foreign Affairs and current President of the Council of the European Union, received the Egyptian Foreign minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit on Friday 18 February 2005 in Luxembourg. Below a transcript of Jean Asselborn’s remarks at a joint Press Conference following the meeting:


“It is and was a pleasure for me to welcome my colleague Ahmed Aboul Gheit here in Luxembourg. Our discussions were very fruitful. The Egyptian Foreign Minister and I already had the opportunity to meet in New York and during my first visit to the Middle East in October last year. Both my visit to Egypt and my discussions with Ahmed Gheit provided me with a crucial insight into the politics of the Middle East. I am very grateful to my friend and colleague for the hospitality demonstrated on the occasion of that visit and for allowing me to meet with President Moubarak. My Egyptian colleague has just returned from a visit to Washington and we also exchanged views on the US engagement in the Middle East. 

As you know, Egypt plays an important role in the Middle East Peace Process. Our discussions focused mainly on the successful outcome of the Sharm el Sheikh Summit, which took place on 8 February 2005. The contribution of Egypt to this Summit was crucial. The main understanding reached at the Summit was that all Palestinians will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere and that Israel will cease all its military activities against all Palestinians everywhere. The Egyptian Foreign Minister and I called for the full respect by the parties of their commitments in this regard. The restoration of confidence and this new spirit of cooperation provide the basis for the resumption of dialogue between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority within the framework of the Road Map. Concrete measures will now have to be taken towards the implementation of the Road Map. The Quartet [composed of the United Nations, Russia, the US and the EU], which is due to meet on 1 March 2005 in London, will continue to play an important role in assisting the parties in this process.

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