At a time when the situation in the Middle East is extremely serious, we cannot be inactive.
We are convinced that only determined and concerted action by the European Union, the United Nations, the United States and the Russian Federation can help the parties to break the cycle of violence and commit themselves once again to the search for peace. This requires:
- the reaffirmation and full recognition of Israels irrevocable right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized borders;
- the establishment of a viable and democratic Palestinian State and an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories.
As a first step, the following pledges must be given:
- by the Palestinian Authority: the dismantling of Hamass and Islamic Jihads terrorist networks, including the arrest and prosecution of all suspects; a public appeal in Arabic for an end to the armed intifada;
- by the Government of Israel: the withdrawal of its military forces and a stop to extrajudicial executions; the lifting of closures and of all restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people; a freeze on settlements.
On the basis of this European Union position and in the light of the discussions which we have had today in Brussels with Shimon Peres and Nabil Chaath, we have asked Javier Solana, Secretary-General/ High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, to go to the region and report back to the European Council at Laeken.
The aim is to contribute, in concertation with the United Nations, the United States and the Russian Federation Common Foreign and Security Policy, to a speedy resumption of negotiations, without preliminaries.