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Middle East Quartet called upon Israel to stop further settlement in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank


Triest (26 June 2009) – Middle East Quartet (USA, Russia, EU and UN) called upon Israel today to freeze further settlement in the occupied territories in the Gaza Strip, on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem including ”natural population growth”.

President of the Council of Ministers of the EU27 and Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Government Jan Kohout during the meeting of the Middle East Quartet warned that the EU perceives further continuation of the construction of Israeli settlement as a potentially important difficulty in the peace process, which should be concluded by peaceful coexistence of two separate and independent states, Israel and Palestine. "Two state solution, freezing of settlement, development of Palestinian institutions and Arab Peace Initiative are the main pillars of successful accomplishment of the peace process," said the President of the Council of EU Ministers Jan Kohout.

The Quartet further agreed that it is necessary that both parties, Israel as well as Palestinian Authority, sit at the negotiating table without such requirements which would hinder in advance the fulfilment of the planned advancement of the peace process. Jan Kohout also informed the Quartet about his Middle East trip which preceded the G8 meeting. He recalled that during his visit in Israel and in the Palestinian Authority as the President of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU, he appealed to both parties that the environment of mutual confidence is crucial for the overall success of the peace process. It must, nevertheless, stem from reciprocal helpful cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and Israel and the existence of the environment of mutual confidence.

The meeting of the G8 Group of economically strongest nations continues by informal negotiations on Afghanistan with regard to regional aspects of illegal movement of persons.

G8 Foreign Ministers' Meeting Ends

Middle East Quartet statement