Comments from Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner after her meeting with President Abu Mazen
10 November 2005
Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner also visited President Abu Mazen (10 November) as part of her visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
The Commissioner welcome the calm maintained during Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, but warned that the subsequent upsurge in violence makes it harder to move forward with the peace process. Recalling the recent attack in Hadera, she said
"Such acts are barbaric, and cannot ever be justified. Confidence building measures are needed so that the channels of communication with the Israelis can be reopened."
The Commissioner urged the Palestinians to translate commitments to reform into action. She said
"Security, rule of law and financial management are all key areas. In particular, every effort must be made to end incitement and to dismantle terrorist infrastructure."
The legislative elections in early 2006 will be an important step for Palestinian democracy. The Commissioner underlined that the EU will continue to support the Palestinian electoral process and she emphasised the importance of all parties committing themselves to democratic means.
In discussions on the 3rd party presence that the EU has been asked to provide at the Rafah crossing on the Gaza/Egypt border, the Commissioner underlined that the EU will not be undertaking an executive role. The Commissioner said
"The responsibility for management of the border remains with you, the Palestinians. What we can do is build up your capacity to manage the crossing professionally in line with international standards and provide active monitoring."