I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia , the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland and Liechtenstein, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this explanation of vote.
I would like to explain the vote by these countries on the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan.
The EU is deeply concerned about the continued deterioration of the situation in the Middle East. The current spiral of violence must cease. There can be no military solution to the Middle East conflict. A just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the situation in the Middle East, including on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, must be based on Security Council Resolutions 242, which emphasizes the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every state in the region can live in security, and subsequent resolutions 338, 1397 and 1515, the Madrid terms of reference, in particular the principle of land for peace, as well as in the implementation of the Road Map and all existing agreements between the parties. We will continue to work relentlessly with the regional parties and within the Middle East Quartet towards that goal.
The EU also wishes to point out that a final peace settlement will not be complete without taking account of the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon aspects. Negotiations should resume as soon as possible with the aim of reaching an agreement.
It should be reminded that last week, the EU voted in favour of the resolution on the Syrian Golan under agenda item 76, which called upon Israel to to desist from changing the demographic composition of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishement of settlements. We believe that the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan under todays agenda item contains geographical references, which could undermine the process of bilateral negotiations. For that reason, as in previous years, the EU has abstained on this resolution.
Finally, in the spirit of rationalisation of the work of the General Assembly Agenda, the EU would prefer to have only one resolution dealing with this issue before this body.
I thank you, Mr. President.