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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union
21 November 2002

Statement by the EU Presidency on the Middle East

The Presidency of the European Union regrets the renewed circle of violence in the Middle East, which only serves to undermine efforts to promote dialogue on security, reforms and a final settlement.

Today's atrocious terror action on a bus in the Jerusalem Kiryat Menachem neighbourhood must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. It is yet another deliberate attempt to derail the process towards reconciliation.

The Presidency is deeply saddened to learn that so far 11 innocent Israeli civilians have died and many more have been seriously injured as a result of this act of terror. Our profound condolences and sympathy go to the bereaved families, to the many injured and to the Government of Israel.

Also, the Presidency condemns the recent Israeli actions in Gaza and in the West Bank with many civilian casualties, which only fuels more hatred and violence and will not bring security to the Israeli people.

The Presidency once again calls upon militant Palestinian groups to lay down arms and unite in a call for a cessation of violence and on the Government of Israel to exercise restraint to avoid further deterioration of the situation.

The EU stands together with a united international community to assist Israelis and Palestinians alike to move towards reconciliation, negotiations and eventually a peaceful settlement to the conflict. Terror and violence will not deter - only delay - these efforts and alienate the two sides further.


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