Remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at a press point with the President of the European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker and the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin
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Let me thank President Rivlin and share with him the fact that the regional situation and the security situation that Israel is facing is indeed a new one. Threats are increasing, some of these threats are the same that Europe is facing. But this new situation is posing also some new opportunities that were not there before, decades ago.
For the first time cooperation with some key Arab countries in the field of security is there and it is in the interest of Israel and the Israeli people, first of all their security, to use this window of opportunity before it is too late for the security of Israeli people; and let me say also for the region and Europe as well as part of the region – we share the Mediterranean.
It is because we know that Israeli people deserve and want to live in peace and security and that peace is the best opportunity for security and as we learnt from wise Israelis and as we heard from your words, Mr President, yesterday in the European Parliament.
The European Union is working day and night, first of all within the Quartet with our international partners – United States of America, the UN, Russia. The Quartet report that will be published soon will indicate, we hope, common grounds, the way forward to overcome some of the obstacles that the international community identifies on peace and security.
Second, we are working day and night with the regional players, Egypt, Jordan, our Arab friends to operationalise the Arab Peace Initiative to the benefit of security, because we know very well that the issue is not only between Israel and Palestine, it is also with the rest of the Arab World and this is the opportunity that Israel has in front of itself.
Thirdly, we are working day and night with the parties. I will not comment on what President Rivlin mentioned about the presence at the same time here in Brussels of himself and President Abbas, but the European Union is constantly, daily working with both parties with a sense of friendship.
We are convinced that we can be friends of Israel and friends of Palestine and this allows us to be bridge builders. We will continue to do so because nobody can replace the willingness of the parties to engage in direct negotiations to restart the perspective of achieving two-state solution.
As the President Rivlin wisely pointed out yesterday, there is the need to rebuild some degree of confidence. There are things that can be done immediately: steps on the ground that would improve the lives of the people of both Israelis and Palestinians. And the European Union would be ready to facilitate and support.
I am looking forward to continue our conversation. President Rivlin and I will continue with a meeting between ourselves and then also a working lunch with a certain number of Commissioners who will join us to discuss our bilateral cooperation, but also perspectives in the region. Thank you.
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