26 November, 2006
Resolution on the European Response to the Middle East Crisis

The UEF Federal Committee, meeting in Brussels on November 25-26, 2006,

considering

the serious crisis suffered last summer in the Gaza strip, in Israel and in Lebanon, that took place in the context of deep and persistent destabilisation in the wider Middle East, from the Southern Mediterranean over Irak to Afghanistan;

the failure of the “war against terror” pursed by the United States and its allies after the attacks of September 11, 2001, contemplating also pre-emptive armed interventions;

the dead-end alley the Israeli ruling class has put itself in, refusing any overture to a serious political dialogue for peace with the Palestinian Authority and the neighbouring Arab countries, while upholding the occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza strip, the Sheeba farms and the Golan Heights;

the deep political crisis in Palestinian society that led to the victory of Hamas at the legislative elections in January 2006 and has subsequently brought the Palestinian occupied territories on the edge of civil war;

the destabilising role played by the regime in Syria to the democratic evolution of Lebanon;

the need to create a shared political environment in the region, overseen by the UN, aimed at the establishment of a just and durable peace between all parties, as happened in Europe after WWII with the unification process founded on the Franco-German reconciliation, made possible by the assistance provided by the United States, notably to European security;

that the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 constitutes a feeble, albeit necessary, attempt at bringing about a ceasefire, but still insufficient to open the way to a just and durable peace;

expresses

its support to the European Union Member States’ decision to assume a leading role in the UN interim force in the South of Lebanon (UNIFIL 2) to patrol the ceasefire, while regretting the fact, that all efforts for a distinct European Union contribution to UNIFIL remained unsuccessful, despite the existing framework for such an intervention provided by the European Security Strategy adopted by the European Council in 2003;

welcomes

the rapid and effective civil protection as well as humanitarian assistance provided by the European Union to Lebanon, including the evacuation of EU and third states nationals, notably through the use of the European Community (EC) Coordination Mechanism for Civil Protection (MIC), the Rapid Reaction Mechanism managed and the EC Humanitarian Office (ECHO) as well as military assets provided by European Union Member States;

the continuous engagement of the European Union in Palestine both through the substantial Community assistance and the civilian crisis management missions in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), the EU Police Mission for the Coordination of Palestinian Police Support (EUPOL COPPS) and the EU Border Assistance Mission in Rafah (EUBAM Rafah), assisting the reform of the Palestinian Civilian Police and providing a third party assistance to the border crossing at Rafah;

underlines

that security interventions with civilian and military means can only be first, albeit important, steps towards greater long term European Union responsibility for peace in the Middle East, that which represents a vital interest for Europe;

believes

that a just and durable peace in the Middle East is to be founded on the basis of a regional project characterised by

- the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-State-solution, as foreseen in the UN resolutions;

- the convening of a Conference for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East (CSCME), which includes all states of the region, as well as the European Union, the United States and the Russian Federation, tackling human rights, socio-economic and security issues, including the problem of nuclear disarmament  and promoting democracy throughout the region, as a regional organisation under the UN Charta;

- the start of a regional integration process on the model of the European one, beginning with Israel, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan, as an indispensable prerequisite for further developing human rights and democracy in the region;

considers it necessary

to allocate to that project a massive political and economic support by the European Union, in a spirit similar to the Marshall Plan, furnishing substantial aid in the fields of security and economy, provided that the Middle East countries make a clear choice for peace;

firmly believes

that the European Union can best react to this and other international challenges by re-launching the constitutional process, in order to be able to give international credibility and democratic legitimacy to the European Foreign and Security Policy allowing the EU to speak with one voice; in this context the UEF Federal Committee recalls UEF’s strong support for a single EU seat in the UN Security Council.


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