I have the honor to explain the vote by the European Union on the draft Resolution on the Syrian Golan.
Allow me at this point to reaffirm the European Union’s firm commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the situation in the Middle East, based on Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 and on the principles of the Madrid Conference, particularly the principle of land for peace, and the Oslo agreements. The deteriorating situation in the Middle East with violence reaching a level, which has not been seen for years, fills us with great concern. The European Union calls on the Israelis and Palestinians to return immediately, without preconditions, to the negotiating table on the basis of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report and Tenet Plan, which must be implemented in full and without delay.
The European Union also wishes to point out that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region 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 in accordance with the same principles.
We believe that the draft Resolution on the Syrian Golan contains geographical references, which could undermine the outcome of the bilateral negotiations. For that reason, as in previous years, the European Union abstained from the vote.
Thank you, Mr. President.