"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
- Today the EU and Israel held their fifth meeting within the framework of the co-operation council.
- It was particularly successful: there is now a political agreement on the common EU-Israel action plan.
- For this I would like to express my gratitude to all those involved in the establishment of this plan – our Israeli friends, the Commission, the High Representative and his staff and a number of previous Presidencies.
- Once all formal procedures are completed at the beginning of next year, implementation of the plan will commence.
- Right now I wish to emphasise the significance of this plan:
- Initially the plan will serve as a basis for the deepening of our dialogue and co-operation on political topics, such as the Middle East peace process, but also regarding issues such as possible international threats from terrorism and the distribution of weapons of mass destruction. The action plan is tailored to Israel and answers specific requirements.
- In addition, the action plan provides the possibility for closer economic co-operation between the EU and Israel: Israel now also has access to European Community programmes.
- In short: I am convinced that this action plan gives us the tools necessary to enable Israel, a close neighbour to the Union, to exist in peace in a stable environment.