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José Manuel Durão Barroso
President of the European Commission
Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority
Press point/occupied Palestinian Territory
8 July 2012
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, let me say that this was a very good, constructive and friendly meeting with President Abbas. This was the culmination of a day of intense contacts. I was also in Jericho, I was in Bethlehem and I had other official meetings. Apart from those official meetings I met representatives from the Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem.
I expressed to Mahmoud Abbas our commitment in the European Union to a viable, independent Palestine. The European Union has stood by you and continues to stand by you. I also stated that from our point of view there is no alternative to negotiations if we want to reach that goal – a two-state solution: an independent, viable, democratic Palestinian state living side by side with Israel. Recognising the difficulties of the situation on the ground, we believe that it is important to make that step further.
We also expressed our opinion regarding Palestinian reconciliation. We believe it is very important to achieve this goal to have Palestinian reconciliation and for that purpose also democratic elections. We are sure that Palestinian leaders will keep their commitment to these principles – the principles of rule of law, democracy, respect of human rights, and the principle of free elections.
We also discussed, as I have done this morning with the Prime Minister, the difficult financial situation and I reiterated to President Abbas our commitments. The European Union will respect its commitments in terms of support to the Palestinian authorities and to the Palestinian people, and I hope that others will also respect their commitments in that direction.