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Source: European Union (EU)
1 September 2006

EU Foreign Ministers unite to call for revival of Middle East peace process

01 Sep 2006, 19:52 en fr fi

The discussions today affirmed the unanimity of the EU Member States on the need to revive the Middle East peace process, said Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja on Friday, 1 September, after the first day of talks between the EU Foreign Ministers in Lappeenranta. All the elements are there, we do not have to reinvent the wheel, he said.

Ministers agreed that united action by the EU over the summer had made a positive impact on efforts to stabilise the situation in the region.

“After all, the most important decision was made last Friday”, said the EU's High Representative Javier Solana, referring to the commitment by EU Member States to reinforce UNIFIL in Lebanon with a significant contribution of troops.

Solana already has the mandate of the Member States to work to move the peace process forward and to be in contact with all the parties involved, said Tuomioja. He particularly emphasised the importance of cooperation with the United States and Arab nations.

As Tuomioja pointed out, since today’s meeting of EU Foreign Ministers was an informal one, no conclusions were adopted. “But the ministers clearly appreciated the fact that they were able to discuss the wider Middle East peace process openly and in-depth”, he added. “The discussions were excellent”, said External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

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