Middle East peace process – 17th Gulf Cooperation Council-EU Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting – Joint communiqué/Non-UN document (excerpts)



(Riyadh, 8 May 2007)


1. The seventeenth session of the Joint Council established in accordance with the Co-operation Agreement between the European Community on the one hand, and the States of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and State of Kuwait) on the other hand, was held in Riyadh on 8 May 2007. …


7. As regards the Middle East Peace Process, the GCC and the EU confirmed their shared positions not to recognise any change to the pre-1967 borders other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties. The GCC and the EU welcomed the Arab Peace Initiative as reaffirmed in the declaration of the Arab League Summit of 29 March 2007 held in Riyadh, and support it as an important opportunity to move the Middle East Peace Process forward. In this context, they are looking forward to the meeting between the EU and the Arab League designated working group to take place in Brussels on 14 May. They also welcomed the Quartet’s intention to work closely with regional partners in that respect. They welcomed the recent efforts undertaken by the Quartet to promote a result-oriented dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the framework of a renewed political process, with the aim of ending the 1967 occupation and creating an independent, sovereign, democratic and viable Palestinian state, living side by side in peace and security with Israel as a step towards achieving comprehensive peace in the Middle East. They welcomed the formation of a Palestinian Government of National Unity pursuant to the agreement reached in Makka on 8 February 2007, which lays the foundation for Palestinian reconciliation. The GCC and the EU reiterated the continuing need to coordinate and mobilize international assistance in support of the Palestinian people and welcomed the continued efforts by the international community to providing humanitarian relief to the Palestinian population. They called on Israel for the immediate transfer of all withheld Palestinian tax and customs revenues. The GCC and the EU also recalled the utmost importance of the full implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access. They furthermore called for the immediate release of Palestinian ministers and legislators as well as of the Israeli soldier. They stated that a just, lasting and comprehensive peace must meet the legitimate aspirations of both the Israeli and Palestinian people, in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Road Map and would include Lebanon and Syria.



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