"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
In response to recent events in the Gaza Strip, Dutch foreign minister Bernard Bot spoke by telephone with his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom and with Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei. Minister Bot urged them to end the violence and return to the negotiating table in accordance with the road map to peace. Speaking in his capacity as President of the Council of the European Union, he said that he was very concerned about the escalating hostilities.
He condemned the Palestinian rocket attacks and called on Palestinian president Yasser Arafat to bring his full influence to bear to put a stop to them. He described the response by the Israeli armed forces as disproportionate and noted that it could make Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip more problematic in the long run.
Minister Bot emphasised that the European Union is willing to support withdrawal from the Gaza Strip if its five conditions are met. He also said that the European Union was prepared to facilitate consultations between the parties to the conflict, if asked.