DECLARATION OF BARCELONA ON THE MIDDLE EAST
1. The Middle East is in the grip of an
extremely grave crisis. The European Union calls on both sides
to take immediate and effective action to stop the bloodshed.
There is no military solution to this conflict. Peace and security
can only be achieved through negotiations.
2. To find a way out of the present situation
it is essential to address the security, political and economic
aspects as inseparable and interdependent elements of a single
process. There is a need to restore a sound political perspective
and to implement in parallel political and security measures in
a mutually reinforcing way. The European Council warmly welcomes
the adoption of UNSC resolution 1397, which reflects the strong
commitment of the international community in this regard.
3. This Resolution must be urgently implemented,
in particular the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts
of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement
and destruction; and the call for the Israeli and Palestinian
sides and their leaders to co-operate in the implementation of
the Tenet work Plan and Mitchell Report recommendations with the
aim of resuming negotiations on a political settlement.
4. The indiscriminate terrorist attacks
over the past weeks killing and injuring innocent civilians must
be condemned. As the legitimate authority, the PA bears the full
responsibility for fighting terrorism with all the legitimate
means at its disposal. Its capacity to do so must not be weakened.
Israel, notwithstanding its right to fight terrorism, must immediately
withdraw its military forces from areas placed under the control
of the PA, stop extra-judicial executions, lift the closures and
restrictions, freeze settlements and respect international law.
Both parties must respect international human rights standards.
The use of excessive force cannot be justified. The actions against
medical and humanitarian institutions and personnel are absolutely
unacceptable. They must be able to fully perform their function.
5. Taking note of the decision by the Government
of Israel to release Palestinian Authority President Arafat from
his confinement in Ramallah, the European Council demands that
all remaining restrictions on his freedom of movement be immediately
6. The European Council welcomes the decision
of the US President to send Special Envoy Zinni back to the region.
The European Union, notably through the EUSR Ambassador Moratinos,
is ready to combine its efforts with him, with the Special Envoy
of the Russian Federation and the UN Special Co-ordinator.
7. The European Council remains convinced
that a third party monitoring mechanism would help both parties
to pursue their efforts to that end and urges them to consider
proposals to accept observers. The European Union and the Member
States are prepared to participate in such a mechanism.
8. The European Union is determined to play
its role together with the parties, the countries in the region,
the US, the UN and Russia in the pursuit of a solution, based
on UNSC Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 and on the principles of
the Madrid Conference, Oslo and subsequent agreements, which would
allow two states, Israel and Palestine, to live in peace and security
and play their full part in the region. The High Representative,
Javier Solana, will continue his regular consultations with all
international actors involved.
9. On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
the overall objective is two-fold; the creation of a democratic,
viable and independent State of Palestine, bringing to an end
the occupation of 1967, and the right of Israel to live within
safe and secure boundaries, guaranteed by the commitment of the
international community, and in particular the Arab countries.
10. The European Council welcomes the recent
initiative of Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, which is
based on the concept of full normalisation and full withdrawal
in accordance with UN resolutions, and offers a unique opportunity
to be seized in the interest of a just, lasting and comprehensive
solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It looks to the forthcoming
Summit of the Arab League in Beirut to take this forward and to
the Government and people of Israel to respond positively.
11. The European Council recognises and
praises those who continue to work tirelessly for peace within
the peace camps of Israeli and Palestinian society and supports
the direct contacts and dialogue that both parties are conducting.
12. Following on its present effort, the
European Union will make a full and substantial economic contribution
to peace-building in the region, with the aim of improving the
living conditions of the Palestinian people, of consolidating
and supporting the PA, of strengthening the economic basis of
the future State of Palestine and of promoting development and
regional economic integration. In this perspective, the European
Union stands ready to contribute to the reconstruction of the
Palestinian economy as an integral part of regional development.
13. The European Union remains convinced
that, in order to be durable, peace in the Middle East must be
Barcelona European Council