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Saturday, December 22, 2012
Joint Statement on Middle East Peace Process by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov

There will be no sustainable peace until the Palestinians' aspirations for
statehood and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security are fulfilled
through a comprehensive negotiated peace agreement.

The European Union and the Russian Federation call on the Palestinian
leadership...not to undertake steps which would deepen the lack of trust and
lead further away from a negotiated solution.

EUROPEAN UNION
Brussels, 21 December 2012
A 587/12
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/134545.pdf

Joint Statement by the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and the
Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov on Middle East
Peace Process

1. In light of recent developments in the Middle East the
European Union and the Russian Federation firmly believe that now is the
time to take bold and concrete steps towards peace between Palestinians and
Israelis. The parties must engage in direct and substantial negotiations
without preconditions in order to achieve a lasting solution to the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending all claims, on the basis of UN Security
Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1397, 1515, 1850, the Madrid principles
including land for peace, the Roadmap, the Arab Peace Initiative and the
agreements previously reached between the parties.

2. The European Union and the Russian Federation affirm that clear
parameters outlining the basis for negotiations are key elements for a
successful outcome. All parties must avoid acts which undermine confidence
and the viability of a two-state solution. The European Union and the
Russian Federation underline the urgency of renewed, structured and
substantial peace efforts in 2013. Towards this end, they are ready to work
with other international partners, including within the Quartet. There will
be no sustainable peace until the Palestinians' aspirations for statehood
and sovereignty and those of Israelis for security are fulfilled through a
comprehensive negotiated peace agreement. The European Union and the Russian
Federation will work with those who are willing to join in such a quest for
peace, stability and prosperity.

3. The European Union and the Russian Federation are deeply dismayed by and
strongly oppose Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank and in
particular plans to develop the El area. These plans, if implemented, would
jeopardize the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state. The
European Union and the Russian Federation reiterate that settlements are
illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace.

4. The European Union and the Russian Federation will not recognize any
changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other
than those agreed by the parties.

5. The European Union and the Russian Federation call on Israel to avoid any
step undermining the financial situation of the Palestinian Authority.

6. On 29 November, the UN General Assembly voted in favour of resolution
A/RES/67/19 on the granting of non-member observer State status in the
United Nations to Palestine. The European Union and the Russian Federation
call on the Palestinian leadership to use constructively this new status and
not to undertake steps which would deepen the lack of trust and lead further
away from a negotiated solution.

7. The European Union and the Russian Federation welcome the 21 November
ceasefire between the Gaza Strip groups and Israel and commend the efforts
of Egypt and all those who engaged in mediation. This tragic escalation of
hostilities underlined very clearly the unsustainable nature of the status
quo with regard to the Gaza Strip. Fully recognizing Israel's legitimate
security needs, the European Union and the Russian Federation call for the
immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of
goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip, the situation of which is
unsustainable as long as it remains politically and economically separated
from the West Bank. It is vital that all parts of the ceasefire agreement
are implemented.

8. The European Union and the Russian Federation call for intra- Palestinian
reconciliation behind President Mahmoud Abbas, in line with the principles
set out in his speech of 4 May 2011, as an important element for the unity
of a future Palestinian state and a two-state solution.

P R E S S

FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Michael Mann +32 498 999 780 - +32 2 299 97 80 - Michael.Mann@eeas.europa.eu
Maja Kocijancic +32 498 984 425 - +32 2 298 65 70 -
Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu Sebastien Brabant +32 460 75 09 98 -
Sebastien.Brabant@ec.europa.eu www.eeas.europa.eu

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