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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: European Union (EU)
31 January 2006


PRESS RELEASE

2706th Council Meeting

General Affairs and External Relations

External Relations


Brussels, 30-31 January 2006

President Ms Ursula PLASSNIK
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria



PROVISIONAL VERSION

Main Results of the Council

Following the 25 January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), the Council stressed the need for the continuous commitment of all parties to the Palestinian constitutional process, underlined that violence and terror are compatible with democratic processes and urged Hamas and all other factions to renounce violence, to recognize Israel's right to exist, and to disarm.

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MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS - Council conclusions

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"The Council welcomed the holding on 25 January of elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and congratulated President Abbas and the Palestinian people on an electoral process that was free and fair. The Council fully endorsed the statement made by the Quartet issued on 26 January.

The Council stressed the need for the continuous commitment of all parties to the Palestinian constitutional process and emphasized the central role of President Mahmoud Abbas in ensuring stability in this transitional period. It reiterated its full support for President Abbas’ determination to pursue a peaceful solution of the conflict with Israel.

The Council underlined that violence and terror are incompatible with democratic processes and urged Hamas and all other factions to renounce violence, to recognise Israel’s right to exist, and to disarm.

The Council expects the newly elected PLC to support the formation of a government committed to a peaceful and negotiated solution of the conflict with Israel based on existing agreements and the Roadmap as well as to the rule of law, reform and sound fiscal management. On this basis the European Union stands ready to continue to support Palestinian economic development and democratic state building.

The Council reaffirmed its strong support for a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict leading to the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours.

The Council expects Israel to adhere to its obligations under the Roadmap.

The Council reaffirmed the central role of the Quartet in promoting progress on the peace process and looked forward to the meeting of Quartet Principals in London."

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OTHER BUSINESS

Middle East: Reactions to cartoons in a Danish newspaper

The Danish and Swedish delegations raised the issue of reactions in the Middle East following the publication last September of cartoons in an independent Danish newspaper.

The Council adopted the following statement in this respect:

The presidency also underlined the importance of both freedom of expression, as a fundamental freedom, and respect for religious beliefs.

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