Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

The Middle East peace process

Delivered in Plenary - 15 December 2009

Mr President

I agree with the Israeli Foreign Minister, Mr Lieberman, that the final Council statement is a lot better perhaps than the earlier Swedish draft which I saw a couple of weeks ago, but it makes no mention of the accepted Quartet principles which Hamas repudiates as it carries on terrorising Palestinian Authority officials and civilians alike in Gaza.

Also, why did Foreign Minister Bildt not visit the region to show solidarity with democratic Israel and moderate Palestinians?

Also, why was the annexation of East Jerusalem singled out for mention at this critical time?

The EU needs to be more balanced and formally recognise our common democratic values with the state of Israel and actually enhance Israel’s participation in EU programmes – unusually, I agree with Baroness Ludford on this – under the Association Agreement, in order to build confidence by Israel in the EU’s goodwill towards the Jewish state.