34th Interparliamentary Meeting
between the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel
and the Delegation of the Knesset to the European Parliament
The 34th Interparliamentary Meeting between the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel, led by Bastiaan Belder (EFD, NL) and the Delegation of the Knesset, led by Nachman Shai (Kadima) took place on 16 February 2010 in Jerusalem. On this occasion, the Delegations adopted the present Joint Statement.
The Delegations underline the importance of the existing traditional links and welcome the active partnership and cooperation between the European Union and the State of Israel.
1. Bilateral relations between the European Union and the State of Israel
The Delegations welcome the efforts on both sides aimed at further developing EU-Israel bilateral relations.
They are convinced that these efforts are to the benefit of both parties.
They also believe that the common principles and shared values referred to in existing bilateral agreements must continue to guide EU-Israel relations.
The Delegations will work together to encourage the further development of these relations, including cooperation in specific policy areas.
2. International security
The Delegations share the same concern about the nuclear policy of Iran, which is a threat to the security of Israel, the Middle East and beyond.
They therefore call on the international community to make all possible efforts to find a peaceful solution to the current crisis, in order to avoid further escalation.
They deeply believe that the European Union can and should play an important role in this regard.
The Delegations will continue their active dialogue on this issue.
3. The Middle East Peace Process
The Delegations express their support for the efforts aimed at achieving just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and between Israelis and Palestinians in particular.
They believe that confidence-building between both sides is an essential part of a peace process leading to two states living side by side in peace and security.
They therefore underline the importance of avoiding any action by any party concerned that may undermine the prospects of the resumption of serious and credible peace negotiations.
The Delegations will continue to work together in order to contribute to creating a peaceful and secure Middle East.
4. The case of Gilad Shalit
The Delegations agree that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit meets the requirements for prisoner-of-war status under the Third Geneva Convention and that he should be protected, treated humanely and be allowed external communication as appropriate according to that Convention; agree, however, that his detention is illegal and that he should be released immediately.
The Delegations will continue their active cooperation in the spirit of this Joint Statement.