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European Union (EU)
21 February 2005
THE EUROPEAN UNION
CONCLUSIONS OF THE GENERAL AFFAIRS AND
EXTERNAL RELATIONS COUNCIL
Brussels, 21 February 2005
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
- Attack carried out in Beirut
"The Council firmly condemns the despicable attack which cost the life of the former President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon, Mr Rafic Hariri, and of at least fourteen other people.
The Council pays tribute to the work done by the former President of the Council of Ministers of Lebanon for his country and for the strengthening of relations between Lebanon and the EU, and wishes an international enquiry to be carried out immediately in order to shed light on the circumstances of this attack and this responsible for it.
In accordance with the conclusions of the European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004, the Council reiterates the importance of implementing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559 (2004).
The Council has agreed to remain vigilant so that the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Lebanon may be held in accordance with a free and fair electoral process, without any foreign interference or influence."
- Middle East Peace Process
"1. The Council expresses its profound satisfaction with the outcome of the Sharm el Sheikh Summit on 8 February 2005. It congratulates Prime Minister Sharon and President Abbas on the courageous decisions which they took during that Summit. It appreciates the contributions from President Mubarak and King Abdallah. The Council welcomes the possibilities offered for taking full advantage of this opportunity for peace. The determination expressed by both parties to work together in a spirit of understanding and cooperation must continue so that the peace process may be relaunched.
2. The Council expresses particular satisfaction regarding the commitment made by both parties to stop all acts of violence and to cease all military activity in parallel. It calls on all parties concerned to respect this agreement and asks the regional players and the international community to give their full support. The Council strongly encourages Israelis and Palestinians to rapidly implement the Sharm el Sheik commitments and to continue on the path of dialogue and political negotiation.
3. The Council undertakes to support the parties in their efforts to continue to work towards progress in the peace process. The goal remains the coexistence 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. It reaffirms its attachment to the Road Map, adopted by Security Council Resolution 1515, which maps out the path towards achieving this goal. The role of the Quartet in the success of this process remains central. The Council looks forward to the visit of President Bush to Brussels on 22 February, which will provide an opportunity for reaffirming the common transatlantic agenda with regard to achieving a fair, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
4. The Council continues to support Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and from certain parts of the northern West Bank as an initial stage in this overall process. It hails the decision taken in this connection by the Israeli Government on 20 February 2005. The withdrawal must be implemented in accordance with the conditions specified by the European Council of March 2004.
5. The Council welcomes the meeting in London on 1 March 2005 as an opportunity for the international community to support the current Palestinian efforts to consolidate the structures of the future Palestinian State.
6. The Council recalls that a fair, lasting and comprehensive peace must meet the legitimate aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian people and encompass Lebanon and Syria.
7. The Council urges all sides in the region to immediately implement policies conducive to dialogue and negotiation. The EU's relationship with those who take steps to the contrary will inevitably be affected by such behaviour."