Summary: July 18, 2005: Council of the European Union, General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting (Brussels)
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
"1. The Council welcomes the important and timely discussion with Mr Terje Roed-Larsen and expresses its full appreciation for his mission. It reconfirms the importance of full implementation of UNSCR 1559.
2. The Council strongly condemns the bombings which have taken place since October 2004. The Council calls upon the Lebanese government to mount a full investigation into these attacks.
3. The Council underlines the importance of full implementation of UNSCR 1595 and the need for all parties to co-operate towards this. In this context, the Council reaffirms its full support for the independent international investigation Commission into the assassination of Rafic Hariri.
4. The Council notes Mr Terje Roed-Larsen’s report on discussions with Syria. While noting the withdrawal of Syrian military forces from Lebanon, it expresses deep concern at the current situation in the region and calls on Syria to take action to promote regional stability, including by:
- supporting the legitimate and sovereign new government of Lebanon and allowing for smooth circulation of goods between the two countries;
- supporting the political process in Iraq including by co-operating with the Iraqi authorities to prevent cross-border transit and support for terrorists;
- and ending support for groups that oppose the Middle East Peace Process and calling on them to abstain from the use of violence.
5. The Council recalls its readiness for a full and productive relationship with Syria. It notes that a positive Syrian contribution to regional stability would contribute to deepening the EU/Syria relationship.
6. The Council welcomes the nomination of Mr. Fouad Siniora as the President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lebanon. It welcomes the successful completion of legislative elections in Lebanon, which represents a decisive step towards an independent, sovereign and democratic Lebanon and an encouraging signal for the region. It thanks the United Nations and the EU Election Observation Mission for its important work and calls on the Government of Lebanon to consider its recommendations. The Council will work with the new government and stands ready to support credible and effective plans for political and economic reform, which should be implemented rapidly.
7. The Council underlines the importance of disbanding and disarming Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias as called for by UNSCR 1559, within the framework of the Lebanese political dialogue. It calls upon the Government of Lebanon to extend its control over all Lebanese territory.
8. The Council expresses its deep concern about the recent attack initiated by Hezbollah along the Blue-Line and calls upon the Government of Lebanon to put an end to all attacks emanating from its territory. The Council calls on all parties to avoid any further escalation of violence and fully to respect the Blue-Line."