CONCLUSIONS FOR THE
VIIth EURO-MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
(LUXEMBOURG, 30-31 MAY 2005)
1. The VIIth Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg on 30-31 May (‘Barcelona VII’) allowed Ministers to assess what has been achieved so far and to discuss general guidelines for the future of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, thus preparing the way for the Extraordinary High Level Meeting that will be held in Barcelona on 27-28 November in order to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Partnership and define a set of actions for the future. These two events constitute the political highlights of the “Year of the Mediterranean”.
III. ORIENTATIONS FOR THE FUTURE
1. Peace, Security, Stability, Good governance and Democracy
20. The review shows that unresolved conflicts are affecting progress in the partnership. This is particularly true of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since the last Euromed Ministerial meeting in The Hague, there have however been encouraging signs of progress. Ministers expressed satisfaction regarding the commitments made by both parties at the summit of Sharm el-Sheikh, including to stop all acts of violence. Ministers stressed the need for both parties to fully implement their commitments according to the understanding of Sharm el-Sheikh. They welcomed bases laid out for a peaceful and negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ministers reaffirmed that no party should take unilateral measures which might prejudice the outcome of negotiations on a final settlement.
The Barcelona Process provides an important contribution to promoting progress and to furthering mutual understanding, even if it is not the forum in which a settlement will be reached. Ministers recalled their attachment to the Road Map and underlined the central and unified role of the Quartet. They called for the rapid implementation of the Road Map and encouraged the parties to continue on the path of direct dialogue and negotiation in the fulfilment of the vision of two states, a safe and secure Israel and a viable, sovereign, contiguous, democratic Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Final status issues, including border issues, have to be agreed by the two parties. Ministers recalled that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace should be based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the terms of reference of the Madrid Conference and the principle of land for peace. They also noted the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative. Ministers also called for the reinvigoration of efforts to promote progress in the peace process on all tracks, Palestinian, Syrian and Lebanese.
Ministers reiterated that the decision by the Israeli government to withdraw from Gaza and parts of the Northern West Bank would, within parameters as formulated by the EU, represent a significant step towards the implementation of the Road Map. The economic viability of the Palestinian Territories was considered crucial in this respect. Ministers welcomed to this effect the appointment of the Special Envoy of the Quartet for Disengagement and pledged their support to the success of this mission.
The Euro-Mediterranean Partnership should provide continued support for cooperation among the parties, particularly in the industrial and economic sectors, to complement the political process.