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Brussels, 9 July 2012
Statement following the meeting between President Barroso and Prime-Minister Netanyahu
President Barroso met today Prime-Minister Netanyahu at the beginning of his visit to Israel.
On this occasion both leaders reviewed the state of EU-Israel relations. President Barroso emphasized the close nature of the bilateral relations, both from a political and economic point of view, with the EU remaining Israel's main trading partner accounting for 30% of overall trade. The particular success of the cooperation on science and research was illustrated with the signature of an MoU on cooperation on energy and water.
President Barroso called for an early resumption of negotiations in order to advance the Middle East Peace Process. In this context he reiterated the EU's continued commitment for a negotiated two-state solution in order to achieve a just and lasting settlement for the conflict.
The two leaders also discussed the regional situation with President Barroso stating the EU's support for democratic change and political and economic reforms in the wider neighbourhood. He expressed his deep concern with the deterioration of the situation in Syria and the need for a peaceful political transition, in accordance with the Annan Plan, including an immediate cessation of violence. They also discussed vital threats in the region and exchanged views on the on-going diplomatic process aimed at solving the nuclear issue on Iran.