Letter dated 24 May 2001 from the Permanent Representative

of Bahrain to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

I have the pleasure of enclosing the joint communiqué of the eleventh session of the Ministerial Council of the Cooperation Council of the Gulf Arab States and the European Union, held in Manama, Bahrain, on 23 April 2001 (see annex).

I would appreciate it if the present letter and its annex were issued as an official document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 40, 56 and 94, and of the Security Council.

(Signed) Jassim M. Buallay

Ambassador

Permanent Representative

Annex to the letter dated 24 May 2001 from the Permanent Representative

of Bahrain to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General

11th GCC, EU JOINT MINISTERIAL COUNCIL

MANAMA – STATE OF BAHRAIN

23rd APRIL 2000

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ

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9. The EU and the GCC reaffirmed the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 and 338, and the principles agreed at Madrid, notably the principle of land for peace.

The GCC welcomed the statement on the escalation of violence in the Middle East issued by the EU on 18 April 2001.

Both parties noted with deep concern the recent escalation of violence in the region, and in particular the use of excessive and often lethal force against civilians.  The GCC and the EU called on both parties to take all necessary measures to bring an end to the violence and restore calm, including the lifting of closures of the occupied Palestinian territories.  They stressed the importance of the payment of overdue revenues to the Palestinian authority.

The GCC and EU called on both parties, in line with the Sharm el-Sheikh understanding of October 2000, to act for the return of the situation prior to the current crisis, and to resume negotiations within the Middle East peace process, taking into account the previous positive developments in negotiations between the two sides and with a view to reaching a final agreement on all issues on the basis of their previous agreements.

The two sides reiterated the need for the protection of all civilians and demanded that Israel abide by all its international legal obligations, including those under the Fourth Geneva convention relating to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.

The EU and the GCC, already the principal donors to the Palestinians, noted that they both had pledged substantial additional aid efforts in order to avoid economic and institutional collapse in the Palestinian authorities.  The two Parties agreed on the need for quick disbursement and they called on other donors urgently to join them in pledging funding in support of the Palestinians.  They welcomed the decision of the Amman Arab Summit to offer financial assistance to the Palestinian population.

The GCC and EU reaffirmed the importance of the Syrian and Lebanese track for a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.

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