Conclusion of the agreement in the Middle East (Paris, November 15, 2005)
Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (excerpts) (Paris, November 15, 2005)
"We welcome the conclusion of the agreement today between Israelis and Palestinians on the crossing points into and out of Gaza. We are now studying the details. The agreement, which affects in particular the reopening of the Rafah terminal, is crucial for re-launching the Palestinian economy, stabilizing the region, and resuming the political process between the parties. The agreement is a milestone that the international community must support. That is the spirit in which the EU is intervening and the Quartet must continue its efforts.
The EU has played a decisive role in the settlement of this key question. As you know, the EU said several months ago it wished to play a supporting role in Rafah. Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy discussed this on his recent trip to the region. A joint mission from the presidency, the council secretariat and European commission resulted in an outline of Europe’s intervention last week. Mr. Solana took part on site in the latest negotiations.
Israelis and Palestinians have chosen to call on the EU to be the third party at the Rafah terminal. With regard to the modalities of the EU’s involvement, a draft European decision is now in preparation. It will be examined as soon as possible in the general affairs/external relations council so the Union can intervene quickly and effectively. "