Policy Areas

Declaration on the situation in the Middle East

Norway has aligned with an EU declaration on 3 July 2006 concerning the situation in the Middle East.

The declaration reads as follows:

The European Union is extremely concerned about the situation which has evolved over the last days between Israel and the Palestinians and calls on all parties to abstain from any actions that are in violation of international law. It calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the kidnapped Israeli soldier. The European Union strongly condemns the murder of the Israeli victim of a kidnapping in the West Bank. It calls on the Palestinian leadership to bring an end to violence and terrorist activities, including the firing of rockets on Israeli territory.
The European Union expresses its particular concern about the detention of elected members of the Palestinian Government and legislature. Those detained should beaccorded their full legal rights.

The European Union reminds all parties of their responsibility to protect civilian lives. Notwithstanding Israel’s legitimate right of self defence, ongoing military operations should be in accordance with international law. It calls on Israel to exercise the utmost restraint and to avoid disproportionate action. It regrets the destruction of essential
infrastructure, which contributes to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Restoring electricity and water supplies and access for humanitarian organisations must be a priority now to avoid a humanitarian crisis.
The European Union emphasises the primacy of diplomatic means and calls upon all parties in the region to make every effort possible to resolve the current situation by peaceful means.

The European Union reaffirms its conviction that only a negotiated two-State solution can bring peace and security to the Israeli and the Palestinian people. A return to the peaceprocess and to the implementation of the Roadmap is therefore imperative. The European Union asks that both parties meet their responsibilities and demonstrate urgently an active commitment to the search for a negotiated solution.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves withthis declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the
Stabilisation and Association Process.

(3 July 2006)

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