Spindelegger: "Israel should seize the opportunity of the Arab Spring"
Foreign Minister and Vice-Chancellor Michael Spindelegger meets Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor.
Vienna, 3 June 2011 – Today's meeting between Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger and Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor presented an opportunity for a joint analysis of the changes in the wake of the "Arab Spring", which directly affect Israel as a neighbouring country: "the profound and sometimes dramatic changes in the political landscape of the Middle East and in the Arab Region are creating a palpable uncertainty, yet they must be seen as an opportunity and be seized", stressed Spindelegger in his meeting with Meridor.
During their discussion, the Austrian Foreign Minister also affirmed the demand of the European Union toward Israel to allow for the resumption of a promising negotiation process by freezing the construction of settlements in the Palestinian Territories. With the same objective in mind, he reiterated the call to the future new Palestinian Government to pave the way toward a peaceful solution to the Middle East problem by clearly committing itself to a renunciation of violence. "Israel has a justified claim to security and recognition just as the Palestinians to an improvement of their living conditions and a dignified future in their own state", said Spindelegger.
At the same time, the Minister spoke clearly in favour of a two-state solution: "Both sides must issue an unequivocal commitment to resuming negotiations. The recognition of a Palestinian state cannot be a substitute for peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Only negotiations can bring forth a stable state within secure borders.“
In his talks with Meridor, Spindelegger also addressed the EU sanctions against Syria: "President Assad has ignored Europe's warning calls. Imposing even tougher EU sanctions against Syria was thus unavoidable. The Syrian leadership must be fully aware that a government trampling on fundamental human rights loses any political legitimacy."
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