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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union (EU)
11 September 2012



Speech by High Representative Catherine Ashton in the European Parliament
on the Brok Report on the Annual Report on CFSP


Mr. President, Let me start by warmly thanking the Chair of AFET and Rapporteur, Mr. Brok, for his impressive and comprehensive report. It is a valuable contribution with many good suggestions that we can use as we build the foundations of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, as we have built the foundation of our services. I have always believed that this Parliament and the members of this Parliament have a critical role in ensuring that we have an effective and democratic EU foreign, security and defence policy.

I also believe that in this increasingly challenging economic environment it makes ever more sense for Member States to work together. This holds true for both large and smaller Member States. Let me take just 2 or 3 isues that we face. On Iran, the Middle-East Peace Process, Syria we are stronger and more effective when we work together.

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We remain too committed to the Middle East Peace Process. The goal is a just and lasting two-state solution. We need to make sure that we continue to move forward and recognize the additional challenges that are faced at the moment by PM Fayad and the Palestinian authority in financial terms. I spoke with him on Sunday and we will work together in moving towards New York with the AHLC and the Norwegian Foreign Minister to try and make sure that the work that has been done which is well recognised by Israel as well as by the World Bank and countries of the region and beyond is not allowed to fail.

We need to understand of course too the needs of Israel. Its deep concern for its own security and also its economic needs. We will continue to find a way through that will bring security for both. But it is increasingly urgent in my view. And I have mentioned in the spirit of that region too the work that we do on Iran and I am very grateful about what Mr Brok said about my role as leader of the negotiations.

I have spent 48 hours in direct negotiations and I have spent an additional of 18 hours in bilateral discussions. I spoke with Dr Jalili, my counterpart, a couple of weeks ago to urge on him the need to make progress and to urge on him the need for us to keep moving on the diplomatic track. The E3+3 will meet in New York. And we will have further contacts. At the same time, as the report reminds us, we must not neglect the broader agenda including human rights and regional security.

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