The leaders reiterated the basic foundations of peace: the right of all
States and peoples in the region to live within safe, recognized borders; respect for the
legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people to self-determination; the exchange of
land for peace; the non-acceptability of forceful annexation of land; and compliance with
existing agreements. The European Union called upon the parties to abstain from
counterproductive unilateral actions that prejudged the permanent status issues and
reaffirmed its opposition to Israeli settlements.
While Europe has long-supported the Palestinian people in their fight
for self-determination, this statement is critical because it takes the support a step
further by actually accepting a Palestinian state. The statement calls upon the Israeli
people "to recognize the right of Palestinians to exercise self-determination,
without excluding the option of a state" and stresses that a "viable and
sovereign Palestinian entity is the best guarantee of Israels security."
The European governments also pledged to continue their wide-ranging
efforts to achieve a Middle East peace, through both diplomatic and economic means, and
called upon both parties to continue the negotiations, implement the agreements signed and
resume the permanent status talks.
The Palestinian leadership welcomed the Amsterdam Statement and the
European position, as it has welcomed past European positions, such as the Dublin and
Florence Declarations of 1996.
Responding to the severe economic plight of the Palestinian economy,
the Communiqué also urged donors to fulfill their pledges of $2.4 billion (promised over
five years) to assist the Palestinian people. While the Palestinian leadership strongly
welcomed the Summits position on the Middle East, and appreciated the support of the
Group, the Israeli government rejected it as "one-sided".