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European Union (EU)
28 August 2005
Brussels, 28 August 2005
EU High Representative for the CFSP,
calls on Israel and Palestinian Authority to keep up momentum for peace
Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to keep up the momentum for peace following the very successful first stage of disengagement from Gaza. HR Solana today began a visit to Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon, with meetings in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Sharon and Foreign Minister Shalom and a working dinner in Ramallah with representatives of Palestinian civil society. Today, he will meet the Palestinian President Abu Mazen, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Abu Ala, and other senior Israeli and Palestinian political and security leaders.
The following is a summary of remarks by HR Solana made at a joint press conference with the Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom:
"I am delighted to be back in Israel once again. Since the last time I was here, in July, many important and positive events have taken place. But before referring to them, I want to express my condemnation of this morning's terrorist attack in Beer Sheva. I extend my deepest sympathy to the victims severely injured and to the Government of Israel. We must not allow terrorists to endanger the new sense of hope grown in the last days and weeks here.
In the European Union we are very pleased with the positive developments you are living through. In particular, I want to commend the Israeli leaders for the political courage shown in implementing the decision to withdraw from Gaza. Israeli society and its security forces are to be congratulated for the way it happened. Democracy and the rule of law prevailed and the decisions of the Government and Parliament were implemented. The Palestinian leadership is to be praised as well for their efforts and the constructive manner in which they have acted. I will personally pass this message to them tomorrow.
Now the second phase has to be implemented, with the same diligence that we have witnessed. I call on the leaders of Israel and the PA not to lose the momentum for peace created with the withdrawal from Gaza. It would be a tremendous mistake not to use the positive energy generated by the pullout in order to move forward towards the implementation of the Roadmap for Peace. This has to be our objective now. Nobody should be allowed to diminish the expectations created here in the region and no party should take any measures that could break this encouraging momentum.
The European Union is supporting with more means and additional resources the process in the same three directions in which it is working now: political, economic and security".