Press Release – Dr. Marcoullis debriefs the EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee on December FAC Conclusions
13.12.2012, 12:07 (CET)
Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis debriefed today, Thursday December 13, the European Parliament’s (EP) Foreign Affairs Committee on the Conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting of December 10. Dr. Marcoullis attended the EP's Foreign Affairs (AFET) Committee meeting for the last time during the Cyprus Presidency of the EU Council, on behalf of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton.
Cyprus’ Foreign Affairs Minister also referred to the FAC discussions concerning the Middle East, and particularly the UN General Assembly vote granting the status of non-member Observer State to Palestine in the UN, and the subsequent announcement by the Israeli government of expanding settlements in the West Bank.
“Though EU Member States were not able to vote in a unified way on the UNGA resolution, the core goals and principles that underpin the EU's policy on the Middle East remain fully intact. The adoption of Council Conclusions by the FAC demonstrates this,” stated Dr. Marcoullis.
She added that these Conclusions call on the parties to engage in direct negotiations without pre-conditions and with a view to attaining a viable two-state solution. They also make clear the EU’s readiness to use all its instruments to support this goal and to facilitate improvement in the difficult circumstances prevailing in Gaza.
Also, whilst reiterating the EU's commitment to the security of Israel, the conclusions express the Council's dismay at the recent announcement by Israel regarding the construction of housing units. On this last issue, the Cypriot Minister informed the Committee on the statement she made yesterday to the plenary.