Summary: Israel/Lebanon: EU Welcomes UN Resolution (14 August 2006: Brussels)
Over the week-end, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner welcomed news of the approval of UNSC Resolution 1701 aimed at ending the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon with the following statement:
"I welcome this Resolution. With this text, the ground has been laid for a sustainable settlement of the current conflict.
We will lend all our support to a rapid and full implementation of this Resolution and we will continue to participate actively in all diplomatic efforts towards a lasting solution. I am pleased to see that the main calls and principles agreed upon at the last meeting of EU Foreign Ministers are part of the deal.
Now it is time for action and I call on the parties to follow the resolution and implement an immediate cessation of hostilities. This is what is needed most urgently to alleviate the suffering of those innocent civilians caught in the middle of the conflict.
It is also essential now to ensure that the humanitarian aid reaches the needed. Harming those who have done no harm does not help anybody! Both parties have a responsibility to ensure that corridors for the safe provision of aid to the needed Lebanese are open and respected.
We stand ready to support Lebanon in its reconstruction. Following the Rome conference in the last week of July, the Commission is already preparing for the provision of assistance for the revival of Lebanon.
But our commitment with Lebanon goes beyond reconstruction. Lebanon is one of our neighbours and as such enjoys a privileged relation with the EU. The international community will support his efforts to extend the sovereignty of his government through the territory. In Lebanon, as elsewhere, only the government should have the legitimate use of the force.
Today is also a great day for the United Nations. This Resolution brings the UN to its role, the right framework to solve conflicts. A place where all relevant voices can be heard and I believe that listening to the Arab voice has been a key element in finding a viable agreement. UN's efforts to bring all parties together to agree on a set of actions to solve the conflict that is devastating Lebanon has been a success!
Yesterday's resolution is an important step towards the end of the conflict! Now all parties should assume their responsibility and work towards making it possible!"