Declaration by the Presidency of the EU on the Middle East
(Madrid, 12 June 2002) -
The Presidency of the European Union expresses its
deep concern for the current situation and the climate of prevailing violence that
represents an obstacle for the renewed efforts in favour of peace. The
Presidency would like to reiterate once again its firm condemnation of the
terrorist acts, illegal and immoral, that will only contribute to
confrontation and to destroy the hope of peaceful coexistence between the Israeli and
Palestinian peoples. The Presidency urges the PNA to redouble its efforts to
prevent these acts from taking place again.

The Presidency of the European Union reiterates its conviction that there
is no military solution to this conflict. Peace and security will only be achieved
through negotiations, which should be started as soon as possible.
Israel has a legitimate right to fight terrorism. This fight must bear in mind
the political goal of putting an end to the conflict. The actions carried out
against the Mukata Presidential complex, the destruction caused and the
measures President Arafat is being subject to, which have prevented the
meeting of the new Palestinian Government, are unjustifiable and counter-productive.
The Presidency of the European Union demands the urgent withdrawal of the
Israeli army from the occupied cities and particularly asks the Israeli
Government to allow the new Palestinian Government to freely perform its
duties and confront the new responsibilities derived from such functions.
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