21st EU-GCC Joint Council and Ministerial Meeting Abu Dhabi, 20 April 2011
1. The 21st session of the Joint Council for the European Union- Gulf Cooperation Council, was held in Abu Dhabi on 20 April 2011. The GCC delegation was led by HH Sheikh Abdallah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates. The GCC Secretariat was represented by GCC Secretary General, Dr. Abdul Latif bin Rashed Al-Zayani. The EU delegation was led by H.E. High Representative Catherine Ashton.
4. The EU and the GCC reaffirmed their shared position that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East is vital for international peace and security and expressed their continued support for the Arab Peace Initiative. They called for the urgent resumption of negotiations on all final status issues, with a view to arriving at a two-state solution by September 2011, as set out by the Quartet. They agreed that a further Quartet Principals’ meeting should take place as soon as possible. The two sides reaffirmed their shared position not to recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those agreed by both parties including with regard to Jerusalem. The EU and the GCC stressed their common position that Israeli settlements anywhere in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace. In this regard they called on Israel to immediately end all settlement activity in East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank, including natural growth, and dismantle all outposts.
They agreed on the need to continue to support Palestinian state-building efforts, both politically and financially.