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European Letter of Assurance



September 4, 1999

President Yasser Arafat
Palestinian Authority

Your Excellency,

The European Union welcomes the Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum on implementation timeline of outstanding commitments of agreements signed and the resumption of permanent status negotiations, and congratulates the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government for its conclusion, which represents a new relevant step forward for a final, lasting and comprehensive peace. Once again, you, Mr. President, have proved your remarkable political vision and huge capacity to understand the historic challenges and to advance through political means to reach the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Concerning this Memorandum, the European Union would like to convey to you its understanding about certain relevant items: 

The European Union hereby expresses its conviction that the outstanding commitments emanating from the Memorandum will proceed as agreed upon and scheduled, regardless of developments in negotiations related to permanent status issues.

The European Union also recalls the European Council Declaration of Berlin, of 24th March, in which it reaffirmed the continuing and unqualified Palestinian right to self-determination, including the option of a state, and appealed to the parties to strive in good faith for a negotiated solution on the basis of the existing agreements.  The Union believes that it should be possible to conclude the final status negotiations within the target period of one year.

The European Union reiterates its call on both parties to refrain from activities which prejudge the outcome of the final status negotiations and from any activity contrary to international law, including all settlement activity, and to fight incitement and violence.

The European Union reassures you about its full political commitment to facilitate the implementation of Sharm El Sheikh Memorandum along the lines expressed in this letter. Let me reaffirm once again the total support of the Union to the Peace Process.

Sincerely yours,

Taria Halonen
Minister for Foreign Affairs

2005 Palestinian American Council