DECLARATION OF THE MIDDLE EAST
The crisis in the Middle East has reached a
dramatic turning point. Further escalation will render the situation
uncontrollable. The parties on their own cannot find a solution.
There is an urgent need for political action by the whole international
community. The Quartet has a key role to play in starting a peace
The European Council supports the early convening
of an international conference. That conference should address
political and economic aspects as well as matters relating to
security. It should confirm the parameters of the political solution
and establish a realistic and well-defined timescale.
The European Council strongly condemns all terrorist
attacks against Israeli civilians. The peace process and the stability
of the region cannot be hostage to terrorism. The fight against
terrorism must go on; but so at the same time must the negotiation
of a political solution.
A settlement can be achieved through negotiation,
and only through negotiation. The objective is an end to the occupation
and the early establishment of a democratic, viable, peaceful
and sovereign State of Palestine, on the basis of the 1967 borders,
if necessary with minor adjustments agreed by the parties. The
end result should be two States living side by side within secure
and recognised borders enjoying normal relations with their neighbours.
In this context, a fair solution should be found to the complex
issue of Jerusalem, and a just, viable and agreed solution to
the problem of the Palestinian refugees.
The reform of the Palestinian Authority is essential.
The European Council expects the PA to make good its commitment
to security reform, early elections and political and administrative
reform. The European Union reaffirms its willingness to continue
to assist in these reforms.
Military operations in the Occupied Territories
must cease. Restrictions on freedom of movement must be lifted.
Walls will not bring peace.
The European Union stands ready to contribute
fully to peace-building, as well as to the reconstruction of the
Palestinian economy as an integral part of regional development.
The European Union will work with the parties
and with its partners in the international community, especially
with the United States in the framework of the Quartet, to pursue
every opportunity for peace and for a decent future for all the
people of the region.