Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting

Brussels, 22 July 2013

The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The European Union warmly welcomes the announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry on 19 July 2013 that an agreement has been reached establishing a basis for resuming direct final status negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis. This is a crucial step towards achieving a lasting resolution to the conflict. The European Union commends Secretary Kerry's dedication and the personal commitment demonstrated by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas.

2. The European Union also praises the significant efforts made by the League of Arab States confirming the strategic importance of the Arab Peace Initiative for all parties.

3. In the light of the challenging negotiations ahead and difficult decisions to be taken, continued bold leadership by President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu and their sustained willingness to engage in good faith will be crucial to success. Once negotiations resume, they should lead to tangible and timely progress. The European Union urges all parties to refrain from actions which could undermine the negotiation process and the prospects of peace.

4. The European Union recalls previous Council conclusions which laid down its vision for the two-state-solution resulting in an agreement on all final status issues, ending all claims, and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties with the state of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition , both states enjoying normal relations with all the countries of the region. It also recalls previous conclusions and will continue to address all issues that put the viability of the two-state solution at risk.

5. The European Union will remain fully engaged with both parties and will also continue to contribute together with other regional and international partners, including within the Quartet, to a negotiated solution on all final status issues, including Jerusalem, borders, security, water and refugees. The European Union will give active and concrete support to help ensure negotiations between the parties are successful, including through support to any international arrangements aimed at underpinning a peace agreement. If an agreement to finally end this conflict were reached, the door would open to deepened and enhanced cooperation between the European Union and all the countries of the region, contributing to the prospect of a new era of peace, security and prosperity. "

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