|FM Sharon Response to EU Statement on Palestinians|
(Communicated by Foreign Minister’s Media Advisor)
7 Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday (Thursday), 25.3.99 responded to the European Union statement supporting the establishment of a Palestinian state:
"The Government of Israel has made it clear to European Union members and to the United States that Israel will not accept a unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinian Authority, and that Israel will respond harshly should such a declaration be made. In fact, the EU statement speaks of the need to reach an agreement through negotiations. The position of the Israeli government vis-a-vis a Palestinian state is perfectly clear.
"With regard to the European Union reference to Israel’s security, the Israeli government wishes to reiterate and emphasize that the best way to achieve security for Israel can only be determined on the basis of decisions made by Israel itself. The Government of Israel reiterates that it stands prepared to continue negotiations toward reaching agreements with the Palestinians, but the Palestinian Authority has intentionally prevented any talks from taking place — on the assumption that, at this time, any progress would assist the electoral bid of the current government."