20 May 2011
The European Union will do all it can to deliver a joint response with the US on promoting democracy in North Africa and the Arab World – High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Baroness Ashton said in response to a landmark speech by President Barack Obama in Washington today.
Welcoming Obama's "broad and ambitious vision", Ashton said: "His ideas and objectives find a clear echo in the work the EU is doing, including the partnership for democracy and shared prosperity. There is a lot to gain from the EU and the US joining forces in our common agenda to promote reform and support transitions to democracy." Acknowledging the historic changes resulting from the Arab spring, Ashton added: ""it is even more important to advance the Middle East peace process. Together with the US, the EU has long pushed for a return to the negotiations as the best way forward.
"I therefore warmly welcome President Obama's confirmation that the borders of Israel and
Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, secure and recognised
borders for both sides, an Israel whose security concerns are met, and an agreement on the issues
of Jerusalem and refugees. Our common goal remains a just and lasting resolution, with the State
of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine -
living side by side in peace and security. This is more urgent than ever. We will do whatever is
possible to help both parties choose the path of peace and engage in successful negotiations."