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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Council
14 December 2011

Statement by President Herman Van Rompuy following his
meeting with President of the Palestinian Authority,
Mahmoud Abbas

I welcome President Abbas for the second time here at the Justus Lipsius building. He paid a visit to Brussels in February 2010. I thank him for his visit and for his commitment to strengthen further the cooperation with the EU.

Today, we had a fruitful meeting. We discussed the cooperation between the EU and the Palestinian Authority. I congratulated President Abbas for the successful institution- and state- building efforts of the Palestinian Authority. The EU has been instrumental in this process. The EU, the main donor of the Palestinian people, remains committed to further strengthening relations and continuing its financial support to the Palestinians.

We discussed the Palestinian reconciliation agreement signed in Cairo in May this year. The EU has welcomed the agreement, and has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas. We will continue to expect that any future Palestinian government adhere to the principles to which President Abbas has committed himself.

We touched upon the developments in the Middle East Peace Process. I emphasized how the EU remains committed to the two-state solution. I underlined that the best way to achieve this is through direct negotiations between the Parties. The EU is actively pursuing this through the Middle East Quartet. President Abbas also informed me on the current developments in the Palestinian request for membership in the United Nations.

Finally, as many events have occurred since our last meeting in 2010, with the "Arab Spring" in the forefront, we exchanged views on the main developments in the region. It is my hope that the "Arab Spring" will have a positive effect also on the Middle East Peace Process.

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