140611/03

 

 

 

D E C L A R A T I O N

 

Adopted at

 

Third European Union–League of Arab States

Foreign Affairs Ministerial Meeting

Athens, Greece, June 10-11, 2014

 

 

 

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union (EU) and of the League of Arab States (LAS), gathering on the occasion of the Third Ministerial Meeting between the EU and LAS on June 10 and 11, 2014 in Athens, Greece, at the invitation of H.E. Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, H.E. Dr. Nabil Elaraby, Secretary General of the League of Arab States, and H.E. Salaheddine Mezouar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco, and hosted by H.E. Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece;

Have adopted the following declaration:

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POLITICAL ISSUES:

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24. The Ministers reaffirmed their shared position that a just, comprehensive peace in the Middle East is a strategic objective and vital for the stability and international peace and security. They reiterated the strategic importance of the Arab Peace Initiative and recalled inter alia the Conclusions of the Council of the European Union of December 2009, December 2010, and May and December 2012.

The Ministers commended the recent US brokered peace talks and called for the removal of obstacles that prevent further negotiations between the parties as well as the resolution of all issues related to final status (water, security, borders, refugees, and Jerusalem) to achieve a solution of two states living side by side in peace and security, on the basis of UN Security Council and other relevant resolutions, the Madrid principles, including land for peace, the Roadmap, and the agreements previously reached by the parties.

The Ministers reaffirmed their shared position not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those agreed by both parties, including with regards to Jerusalem. They stressed their common position that Israeli settlements, the separation barrier built anywhere in the occupied Palestinian territory, home demolitions and evictions are illegal under international law and constitute obstacles for peace and they endanger the viability of the two-state solution.

The Ministers welcomed the formation of the new Palestinian consensus government led by President Mahmoud Abbas in line with the Quartet principles set out in his speech 4 May 2011, and the restoration of unity between the West Bank and Gaza Strip as an important element for reaching a two-state solution. They called upon Israel to cooperate with the new Palestinian government.

The Ministers expressed their concern at the grave humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip largely caused by the closure imposed by the Occupying Power. The Ministers welcomed the Egyptian efforts that were crucial in reaching Palestinian reconciliation. The Ministers condemned all acts of violence against civilians and called for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1860 and full respect of international humanitarian law.

The Ministers reaffirmed their concern regarding unilateral measures in violation of international law and international humanitarian law, including the settlement activities in occupied East Jerusalem, and in particular affecting the Holy Sites under the Hashemite Custodianship as reconfirmed in the agreement between HM King Abdullah II and President Mahmoud Abbas. They called for immediate cessation of all illegal acts as well as the immediate reopening of Palestinian Institutions in East Jerusalem. The Ministers commended the role played by HM King Mohammed VI, the President of Al-Quds Committee.

The Ministers also called to respect the rules of international law, international humanitarian law, human rights law and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 in respect of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners and detainees in Israel prisons. They called for the release of prisoners in accordance with previous agreements and the end of excessive use of administrative detention in contravention of international law.

The Ministers recalled that existing EU legislations in relation to settlements should be fully and effectively implemented. The Arab Ministers expressed their appreciation for the EU's commitment that — in line with international law — all agreements between Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip; and called on the EU to take further steps on settlements in line with its own laws as well as international obligations.

The Ministers agreed on the need to continue to support Palestinian state-building both politically and financially. The Arab Ministers commended the European Union Conclusions of December 2013 in which the EU reaffirmed its commitment to be fully engaged in post-conflict arrangements to ensure the sustainability of any peace agreement. The Ministers expressed grave concern at the recurrent financial crisis of the Palestinian government and called on Israel to take positive steps to enable sustainable economic development in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, Area C and in the Gaza Strip.

The Ministers welcomed Palestine's commitment to democracy and human rights as expressed by its accession to relevant international treaties and conventions. The Ministers called on the Palestinian leadership to use constructively its accession to those treaties.

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