Israel’s Response to Statement by Council of Foreign Ministers of the EU

October 2, 1996

Israel is deeply disappointed with the statement of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union, which does not contribute to the furthering of the peace process.

The government of Israel responded immediately to the constructive initiative of President Clinton, out of a desire to help the international effort to bring about a calming of the situation and get the peace process back on track. The government of Israel will do its utmost to help achieve these two objectives.

The Middle East peace process is in a complex phase, which has been compounded by terrorism. This process must provide security to all parties involved. Hence, acts of violence must not be rewarded and encouraged if they violate the most essential premise of the process and agreements reached thus far.

The language of the resolution fails to take account of the Israeli resolve to pursue the peace process, to abide by agreements reached and to persist in their implementation.

Israel has reiterated its commitment to the implementation of these agreements on the basis of reciprocity.

This effort will not be aided by a partial European position or by language that could have a threatening tone. Israel will continue its efforts to bring about a genuine and secure peace in the Middle East. At the same time, Israel will continue its dialogue with the European Union. Europe’s desire to contribute to the peace process should not be manifested by adopting positions that could hinder the peace process and the negotiations aimed to promote it.