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European Union (EU)
9 January 2008
President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, Slovenian Minister Dr Rupel assures the Palestinian Authority Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Riad Malki, of the EU’s commitment to speeding up the Middle East peace process
The Middle East peace process will continue to be one of the EU’s central concerns during the Slovenian Presidency, underlined the current Chairman of the General Affairs and Foreign Relations Council, Slovenian Minister Dr Dimitrij Rupel after meeting the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Riad Malki, on a visit to Ljubljana today.
Dr Rupel said that the Annapolis Conference and the International Donors' Conference for the Palestinian State in Paris, at which the EU and the Member States had guaranteed EUR 1.5 billion in support for the Palestinian State, had initiated a new era of talks to be conducted by the Israeli and Palestinian Governments in cooperation with the USA. The European Union was therefore taking a back step while awaiting developments. “I look forward with great interest to the outcome of the visit to Israel and Palestine by the United States President, Mr George Bush,” stressed Mr Rupel, announcing that the issue of the Middle East would remain on the agenda of the European Union and that he would consult the Member States on any initiatives, which might include a meeting of the Middle East Quartet. However, such matters would certainly be discussed at the meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council. Dr Rupel assured the Palestinian Minister of the Slovenian EU Presidency’s absolute commitment to speeding up the Middle East peace process.