Introductory remarks by
EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy
at the joint press conference with
Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs Tzipi LIVNI
The following is a summary of remarks to the press made by Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), on 26 October 2006, following a meeting with Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Livni:
"It’s a great pleasure for me to be back in Israel. I’m a friend of Israel and a very good friend of the minister for foreign affairs. The long conversation we’ve had today has been frank, and I appreciate that and want to thank minister Livni for the frankness with which we’ve been able to talk today. We’ve created a level of trust, a level of confidence between Israel and the European Union that I think will allow us to move forward in the process which I think is in the hearts and the minds of the majority of the people here and of the Palestinians in the world.
We have talked about security issues. The larger situation in the region is complicated. And it’s evident, for anybody who thinks, that this situation requires a good cooperation among the people who want to have a region that is stable and more secure.
But the second thing I would like to say is that as far as the Israeli-Palestinian process is concerned, we have a situation that is stalled and I would like very much, together, in good cooperation with the parties, see if some movement can be put in place to give not only hope for the people but also realities on the ground. It’s not only hope that people need – people need hope, no doubt about that – but they also need to have realities on the ground.
Therefore we have to talk about what these realities can be: a change on the ground, from the point of view of the situation at the border crossings, the situation of the budget etc., to make life better for the people, for the Palestinians, but at the same time, step-by-step to create a perspective which is political. People need to know that the process goes somewhere. We know that this is something that is also in the mind of the government of Israel. We would like very much to cooperate with them, to see how this dream can be made reality.
I think that this cooperation will also serve to create a more stable region and therefore I think we should work in the same direction, and work on both vectors because at the end of the day they are convergent and they create not only a better life for the Palestinian people but at the same time a region that is more secure, more stable and where people live better.
I want to say once again that we Europeans are more present than ever probably. We have not only an economic and an important political commitment but also a commitment that goes beyond that. We have forces in the south of Lebanon, we help for the stability of Lebanon, which is something that is very important for the stability of the region. Therefore we are really making important steps of cooperation, and we want to continue working together in that direction.
Let me finish by thanking once again the Foreign Minister of Israel, a good friend and somebody with whom you can work, and work in a constructive manner".