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Summary: 20 October 2009, Ramallah – Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the CFSP, says Palestinian state should be established along 1967 lines
Javier SOLANA, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), traveled today to the Palestinian Territories to meet the President Mahmoud ABBAS and Prime Minister Salam FAYYAD. He also visited the headquarters of the European Police mission in Ramallah (EUPOL COPPS). His presence provided another opportunity to reinforce the engagement of the European Union in the region and the support for the Palestinian leaders.
Tomorrow, he will continue his visit to the region with meetings with the Israel leaders.
In Ramallah, in comments to the press, HR Solana underlined that the objective of the European Union "is to have a Palestinian state, the sooner the better. This state will be constructed on territory marked by the borders of 1967. It may be necessary to swap some territory, but this should not disturb the nature and continuity of the territory. The position of the EU is identical of the one of the Quartet, as it was expressed on the occasion of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, when it met for the last time."
Mr Solana explicitly supported the efforts by President Abbas to reunite the Palestinian people following their split after the Islamist Hamas movement took over control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
He met President Abbas before his departure for Egypt, to continue the efforts to advance in the intra-Palestinian reconciliation. "President Abbas has left for Cairo where a document is being negotiated by the Egyptian authorities. He goes with the idea of signing it." The High Representative said that the EU supports Abbas' definition of government once a unity rule is established which "can be acceptable by everybody in the international community".
Mr Solana visited the Headquarters of EUPOL COPPS, where he met the head of the mission, Chief Constable (ret) Paul Kernaghan, and other members of his team, as well as the head of EUBAM Rafah Mission, Col. Alain Faugeras. The EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories, launched in 2005, has a long term reform focus and provides enhanced support to the Palestinian Authority in establishing sustainable and effective policing arrangements. EUBAM, the second ESDP mission in the region, focuses its activities in the border between Gaza, Israel, and Egypt. In the current situation, EUBAM is redeployed in Ashkelon.
"EUPOL COPPS is a fundamental instrument of support from the EU to the Palestinian Authorities. Both EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM Rafah are very important for the establishment of the Palestinian State. A democratic state can not exist without a well functioning police and rule of law structures, both of which are fundamental to the functioning of a state", said Mr Solana.
I am very pleased that everybody recognises the efforts made by the Palestinian security forces to guarantee security in the territory controlled by the PA. Everybody seems to agree that when the Palestinians take control of difficult issues such as security they do a very good job", he added.
Mr Solana thanked all the staff of EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM for their efforts and the contributing member states for their commitments.