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Source: European Union (EU)
1 September 2006

Time to revive Middle East peace process, say EU Ministers

EU Foreign Ministers agreed to step up efforts to revive the Middle East peace process at their informal meeting held on 1 September in Lappeenranta, Finland. They welcomed the EU’s unity and its role in helping to end the conflict in southern Lebanon. Ministers pledged to build on this contribution with renewed efforts to stabilise the region.
Chairing the informal meeting, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja reiterated the EU’s support for a two-state solution as the answer to the Middle East crisis. “We have to be ready to talk with all relevant parties”, Mr Tuomioja said, adding “we have to put pressure on Hamas to accept the demands of the international community.”

EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana will remain at the forefront of the EU’s diplomatic efforts in the region. Ministers noted the importance of cooperation with the US and Arab nations.
The EU showed its strong commitment to peace in the Middle East by sending a significant number of troops to strengthen the UN force in southern Lebanon.

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