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Barroso calls for mutual understanding in the Middle East

President Barroso and President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres

President Barroso today defended a "two-state solution" to allow the peace process in the Middle East to move forward, at the end of a meeting with the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres. In his statement, the President also mentioned the humanitarian situation in Syria, calling for a stronger role of the Arab League in the country.

"We believe that Israel should be fully recognised by its regional partners and should live in security within its borders. At the same time, the Palestinian aspiration to have its own State must be fulfilled", said President Barroso.

He added: "The European Union remains firmly attached to a two-state-solution. Two states living side-by-side in peace and security. We therefore encourage both sides to support and implement confidence building measures that allow the peace process to move forward."

In the light of the recent elections in Israel, President Barroso stated that the EU expects the new government to commit to develop its relations with Europe and to a negotiated settlement for the Middle East Peace Process.

The President of the Commission also mentioned the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions in Syria, where the number of refugees is reaching 1 million. "This is a stain on the world's conscience", he said. "The international community has the duty to address the situation. We fully back the United Nations/Arab League special representative Brahimi's efforts to bring a political solution for the conflict. And we believe the Arab League should indeed assume a role in this solution".

President Barroso noted the success of bilateral cooperation in research and innovation, and welcomed Israel's request for association to the next "Horizon 2020" programme. 

Read the full statement

Watch the video

Read the speech at the Building Bridges Conference