COPENHAGEN (Jul. 13)
The Foreign Ministers of the 12 European Economic Community (EEC) member states affirmed here Monday their support of an international conference for Middle East peace as the only formula at present to advance the peace process in the region.
The Ministers are attending the European Political Cooperation conference here. Denmark assumed the rotating presidency of the EEC Council of Ministers on July 1.
The Ministers recalled the positive response to their declaration of last February 23 endorsing the idea of an international conference. They expressed hope that conditions favorable to such a gathering can be established rapidly by agreement between the parties to it.
The EEC Ministers said they have closely followed developments in the region and decided to pursue, bilaterally and through the Council presidency, contacts on all levels and with all interested parties in search of a comprehensive, lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They reaffirmed that this included a settlement of the Palestinian problem in accordance with the EEC’s June 1980 Venice Declaration. That document stated that the Palestine Liberation Organization must be a participant in the peace process.
The 12 Ministers also recalled their commitment to the respect of human rights in the Israel-administered territories. They agreed that the deterioration of the economic and social situation in the territories and in the region as a whole, threatened to complicate the search for peace.
The EEC countries pledged to continue to contribute to economic and social development, with the understanding that it is no substitute for peace.