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The Council of the European Union reached its December 2010 conclusions regarding the Middle East Peace Process.  



3058th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 13 December 2010

"1. The EU believes that urgent progress is needed towards a two state solution to the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict. We want to see the State of Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic,
contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security. The legitimacy
of the State of Israel and the right of Palestinians to achieve statehood must never be called into

2. The EU notes with regret that Israel has not extended the moratorium as requested by the EU, the
US and the Quartet. Our views on settlements, including in East Jerusalem, are clear: they are
illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. We reiterate our views on the status of
Jerusalem and repeat our call for all parties to refrain from provocative unilateral actions and

3. The EU affirms its readiness to contribute to a negotiated solution on all final status issues within
the 12 months set by the Quartet. To this end, the EU will continue to work closely with the
parties and reaffirms its support to the US efforts in order to bring the parties back to the
negotiating table. The EU stresses the importance of intensified coordination within the Quartet
as well as of close cooperation with Arab partners, building on the Arab Peace Initiative. The EU
underlines the urgency of finding a negotiated solution and urges the parties to refrain from
actions that undermine the prospects of peace. The EU remains committed to contribute
substantially to post-conflict arrangements.

4. Council Conclusions of December 2009 set out the EU's views on the key parameters, principles
and issues. We reiterate those Conclusions. The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-
1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. This
could include agreed territorial swaps. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the
status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. The EU calls for an agreed, just, fair and
realistic solution to the refugee question. A negotiated settlement must allow the two States to
live side by side in peace and security.

5. The EU commends the work of the Palestinian Authority in building the institutions of the future
State of Palestine and reiterates its full support for their endeavours in this regard and the Fayyad
plan. Recalling the Berlin Declaration, the Council reiterates its readiness, when appropriate, to
recognize a Palestinian state. We welcome the World Bank's assessment that "if the Palestinian
Authority maintains its current performance in institution building and delivery of public
services, it is well positioned for the establishment of a State at any point in the near future". The
EU remains ready to develop further its bilateral relations with Israel within the framework
defined at the Association Council of June 2009 and by its conclusions of December 2009.
Within the framework of these conclusions, the EU is also ready to develop further its bilateral
relations with the Palestinian Authority.

6. The EU recalls that peace in the Middle East should be comprehensive and reiterates the
importance of negotiations on the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon tracks. Peace should lead to
the full integration of Israel in its regional environment, along the lines set out in the Arab Peace

7. Recalling the Council Conclusions of June 2010, the EU remains extremely concerned by the
prevailing situation in Gaza. The EU reiterates its call for the immediate, sustained and
unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and
persons to and from Gaza. Despite some progress following the decision of the Israeli
government of 20 June 2010 to ease the closure, changes on the ground have been limited and
insufficient so far. Further efforts and complementary measures are needed to achieve a
fundamental change of policy that allows for the reconstruction and economic recovery of Gaza
as well as improve the daily lives of the population while addressing Israel's legitimate security
concerns. The Council calls on those holding the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit to release
him without delay. The Council calls for a complete stop of rocket attacks at Israel and all other
forms of violence.

8. Palestinian exports are an essential component of Gaza's recovery. In this respect, the EU
welcomes the recent announcement by the Israeli government concerning new measures to
facilitate exports out of Gaza. We encourage a swift implementation by Israel and are ready to
work with Israel towards achieving pre-2007 levels of exports in 2011 to produce real change on
the ground. Increased and accelerated imports of construction materials are another crucial
component of Gaza's recovery and also for building schools and health centres.

9. The EU recalls its readiness to assist in the reconstruction and economic recovery of Gaza in
close partnership with the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government, in line with UNSC
Resolution 1860 and on the basis of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. As parts of a
comprehensive EU approach, including CSDP missions, the EU is ready to extend its support to
improvements to the crossings infrastructure, to purchase and install the necessary equipment
and also to train Palestinian border and crossings management personnel to operate the

Information provided by Sandra De Waele: Delegation of the European Union to Israel (Political Affairs)