In this decisive year for the Western Balkans, we underline the importance of the European and transatlantic perspective as an essential element in promoting stability and economic progress for the whole region. We welcome the commitment of the EU to extend membership to all the countries of the Western Balkans, as soon as necessary conditions are met. We also welcome NATO’s recent decisions to extend its membership into the Western Balkans.
We welcome progress made by Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro in the processes of EU and NATO integration. We welcome the signature of the Stabilization and Association Agreement and of the EU Interim Agreement with Serbia as a confirmation of its commitment to a European perspective and an important step on the country’s path towards the EU. We welcome the commitment of all political forces in Macedonia to remain united behind the national consensus to actively pursue Euro-Atlantic integration. We welcome the forthcoming signature of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina and urge the Bosnian leaders to remain committed to a sustainable reform process.
We will continue to support the stability and security of Kosovo and its regional integration, and will assist Kosovo in its economic and institutional development. We note that the Kosovo authorities are committed to the objective of a stable, democratic and multi-ethnic society. We commend NATO’s contributions to Kosovo as well as those of the OSCE. We will cooperate on completing a smooth transition from UNMIK to EULEX responsibility for the rule of law and its full deployment throughout all of Kosovo, which is essential for the stability of Kosovo. The EU welcomes U.S. participation in the EULEX mission.
We welcome the recent steps forward toward Peace in the Middle East, and will pursue complementary efforts to support the Parties’ efforts to reach a political agreement by the end of 2008, as foreseen at the Annapolis Conference. We are determined to support the subsequent implementation of that agreement, and call again on Israel and the Palestinians to implement their Roadmap obligations in full. The United States and EU are doing important work in the area of Palestinian capacity-building to pave the way for a future democratic Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbours. We underline the importance of continued broad and constructive involvement by Arab partners and commend the Arab League’s Peace Initiative and its goal of promoting a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We call on donors, especially those in the region to follow through on and, if possible increase, their pledges and deliver assistance to the Palestinian Authority.
We welcome the election of Michel Sleiman as President of Lebanon. We look forward to the full implementation of the Doha agreement and a full resumption of the functioning of all democratic institutions of the state of Lebanon. We reaffirm our joint commitment to the sovereignty and independence of Lebanon, and our support for its government. We call on all concerned parties, including Syria, to comply with UN Security Council Resolutions 1559, 1701, 1757, and other relevant resolutions, including full cooperation with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. We reject the use of violence as a means to achieve political ends, and we reiterate our support for the extension of the full authority of the Government of Lebanon throughout Lebanese territory.
We expect Iran to comply with its international obligations concerning its nuclear activities, including the full and verifiable suspension of enrichment and full cooperation with the IAEA. Iran must fully restore confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program through implementation of the Additional Protocol. Iran must provide to the IAEA full disclosure of any weapons-related work and allow the IAEA to verify that any such work has ceased. We affirm the dual track strategy on this issue, which was reinforced by the incentives package and reiterate our belief that a mutually satisfactory, negotiated solution remains open to Iran. At the same time, we will fully and effectively implement UN Security Council Resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803 and other pertinent resolutions and we are ready to supplement those sanctions with additional measures. We will continue to work together, including through the Financial Action Task Force, to take steps to ensure Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support proliferation and terrorism. We call upon the Government of Iran to cooperate in the fight against terrorism. We reiterate our concern about Iran’s regional policies, especially its continued support for terrorist organizations, and call on Iran to play a responsible and constructive role in the region. We also underline our continued concern about the deterioration of the human rights situation in Iran, especially those of human rights defenders, women and minorities.
We welcome the meetings of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq and of the International Compact with Iraq, and acknowledge the value and importance of these ongoing processes, which remain essential to achieve security and prosperity in Iraq and in the region as a whole. We encourage the countries in the region to increase engagement with Iraq by opening diplomatic missions in Baghdad, exchange senior-level visits, and making progress on bilateral debt negotiations. We welcome the more extensive role played by the UN/UNAMI in Iraq in line with UNSCR 1770. We will continue to work jointly in support of the Government of Iraq’s efforts to hold provincial elections as part of its efforts towards national reconciliation and in promoting peace, stability, and security for the benefit of all Iraqis. We encourage all political actors in Iraq to do their utmost to bring an end to violence. We will work with Iraq to hasten its ability to join the WTO. The EU’s substantial assistance in Iraq, including more high-level contacts with the Iraqi government, is complemented by negotiating an EU/Iraq Trade and Cooperation Agreement for which we look forward to a rapid conclusion.
We share a long-term commitment towards the stabilization and development of a democratic Afghanistan. We appreciate NATO’s work in leading the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and will work closely to ensure the success of the mission of UN Special Representative Kai Eide. We are enhancing our strategic cooperation on assisting Afghanistan, including expanding the size and scope of our justice and police reform assistance and counter-narcotics efforts. We look forward to reaffirming our long-term commitment to Afghanistan’s development at the June 12 Paris Support Conference. We call on the Afghan Government to further invigorate its efforts to improve governance and human rights, including media freedom, and fight corruption, drug production, and drug trafficking, and we call on our international partners to maintain their generosity.
We welcome the recent progress made in Pakistan towards a lasting democratic transition. We are committed to supporting the new democratically elected government in tackling the many challenges it faces, not least the threat from violent extremism.
We stand ready to work together with Russia on major regional and global issues of mutual concern as we recognize the important and constructive role that Russia should play on the international stage. We encourage Russia to meet its international commitments on human rights and democratic development, including in the Council of Europe and the OSCE. We also encourage Russia’s engagement in a productive and transparent dialogue aiming at beneficial cooperation, in order to promote democratic values and freedoms.
We offer our deepest condolences to the people of China for the earthquake victims in Sichuan. Recognizing China’s growing role as an engaged member of the international community, we will continue our constructive engagement and will encourage China to assume a greater role in helping to tackle issues of global concern, such as the international financial and trading system, climate change, sustainable development and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We also encourage greater regional integration as a means for promoting prosperity and stability in East Asia. We are concerned about the recent unrest in Tibet and urge all sides to refrain from further violence. We welcome China’s recent decision to hold talks with the Dalai Lama’s representatives. We encourage both parties to move forward with a substantive, constructive and results-oriented dialogue at an early date. We urge China to take substantive steps to allow its citizens to enjoy internationally recognized human rights. We encourage China to address its poor human rights record.
We offer our deepest condolences and reiterate our concern for the Burmese victims of Cyclone Nargis and our commitment to assist them as they recover from this tragedy. We call on the Burmese authorities to meet their commitments to grant access to foreign aid workers to the cyclone affected areas. We confirm our intention to continue our substantial humanitarian aid to the people affected by the disaster, in particular through the combined efforts of the UN, ASEAN, international and local agencies, and NGOs. Separately, we remain deeply concerned at continued repression in Burma/Myanmar as well as the lack of progress toward national reconciliation and a credible transition to legitimate civilian government. We reiterate our support to the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary-General, and will continue to pressure the Burmese authorities, including implementing targeted sanctions, to embark on an inclusive dialogue with all stakeholders in the country, including Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic and ethnic minority representatives. We are deeply troubled by the Burmese regime's extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest on 27 May and call upon the regime to release her and all political prisoners.
We commend the continued efforts of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova to meet European standards, we welcome their aspirations, and we commit to help these countries achieve their reform goals as soon as possible. We note that NATO leaders sent a clear message in B ucharest that Georgia and Ukraine will become members of NATO. We are ready to work with all appropriate parties to promote resolution of the conflicts in the region. We reiterate our commitment to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders, and call on all parties, in particular on Russia, to support these principles. We welcome the Georgian President’s recent peace initiatives on Abkhazia, as well as the recent direct talks between the parties, hoping that they will contribute to a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
In Belarus, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan we will continue to promote democracy, the rule of law, and respect for human rights. With regard to Belarus, we will continue to hold Belarusian officials responsible for human rights abuses. We call on the Belarusian authorities to release unconditionally and immediately all remaining political prisoners. We condemn the use of coercive measures taken against diplomatic missions in Belarus.
The United States and EU will continue to act together in order to stabilize Sudan, Somalia and the Great Lakes region of Africa. We will coordinate our efforts to support African Union capacity-building including financial accountability and the development of the African Standby Force. We note the EU commitment to maintain its peacekeeping efforts in eastern Chad in line with commitments and deadlines contained in UNSCR 1778 and commit to work together to increase pressure on Darfur rebels and the Government of Sudan, including through the implementation of sanctions, with the goal of accelerating the deployment of the UN/African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur and promoting the peace process mediated by the UN and AU Special Envoys and in full compliance with UNSCR 1593 and UNSCR 1769. We will continue to support the full implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as the bedrock of long-term stability and the way forward for democracy in Sudan.
We call on the government of Zimbabwe immediately to cease the state-sponsored violence and intimidation against its people that has occurred since the March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections and which is so hostile to the tenets of democracy and human rights, and we strongly back the efforts of African leaders to bring about an expeditious resolution to this crisis. We urge the United Nations Secretary-General to send a team immediately to monitor human rights and to deter further abuses. The announced second round of presidential elections on June 27 presents the opportunity for the Zimbabwean people to express freely and democratically their will, opening the way for delivering political stability to the country. A free and fair presidential runoff is critical to the resolution of the ongoing crisis.
We will continue to work together and in collaboration with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean, to spread the benefits of democracy in the Western Hemisphere; to promote economic opportunity and social development; to uphold democratic institutions and human rights; and to enhance security. We encourage democratic processes in the countries of the region consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter. We welcome Cuba’s signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and urge the government to ratify the Covenant and demonstrate its commitment by unconditionally releasing all political prisoners. We will work together to support human rights, democratic values and an active civil society and the continued exercise of freedom of expression throughout the region. We condemn the taking of hostages in any circumstances whatsoever and call on illegal armed groups to release all hostages.
We will continue acting jointly bilaterally and multilaterally to promote democracy, safeguard peace and human rights and in this regard encourage all governments to promote and protect their citizens’ human rights. We have co-sponsored a Declaration in the United Nations General Assembly to highlight the plight of prisoners of conscience throughout the world in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We will continue to work cooperatively to promote democratic governance around the world and are prepared to encourage multilateral initiatives such as the Community of Democracies.
We are committed to support effective multilateralism, based on a stronger and more efficient United Nations. We will work to strengthen the United Nations so that it can better fulfil the goals and objectives set forth in its mandate with transparency and accountability. We will work together to ensure that the multilateral system takes action to protect the freedoms of individuals, and will hold all regimes that fail to protect the human rights of their people accountable. We will support in the UN more effective peacekeeping, disarmament, and delivery of development assistance, and food assistance.
We recognize the need for further cooperation to tackle international terrorism, particularly through an active role for the U.S., the EU and Member States in multilateral counterterrorism efforts at the UN. We stand ready to work for an effective implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We will continue to work together to reach international consensus towards an agreement on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that enhances global efforts to combat terrorism and strengthens the existing international legal framework for counterterrorism. We call for full implementation of UNSC counter-terrorism Resolutions 1267, 1373 and 1540 and support the work of the respective UNSC Committees. We will redouble our efforts to ensure that the UNSCR 1267 Consolidated List accurately reflects facts on the ground, including through proposals of new listings. We agreed to expand our cooperation on counter terrorism finance including preventing misuses of charities and bulk cash smuggling to finance terrorism, and increase information sharing.
We will seek to deepen our ties in our common fight against terrorism. We will ensure that efforts to combat terrorism comply with our obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law. We will take steps to ensure that members of designated terrorist groups do not misuse the law. We agree that the fight against international terrorism raises important legal questions. We have continued and deepened our dialogue on international law principles, relevant to our common fight against terrorism. Our dialogue contributes to a better mutual understanding of our respective legal frameworks and helps us work together more effectively.
We look forward to the imminent ratification and entry into force of the U.S.-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements, which are important tools for enhancing fully judicial co-operation and for better tackling organized crime and terrorist offenses.
We will work together to combat the global threats posed by transnational organized crime, grand scale corruption, and terrorism. We recognize that transnational criminal syndicates, high level corruption, and terrorist networks destabilize societies by undermining the rule of law and impeding efforts to promote freedom and democracy. We look forward to strengthening international cooperation and working jointly to provide capacity to combat these global threats. We also call for full implementation of the UN Convention Against Corruption, the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its complementary protocols, as well as other UN instruments and resolutions to fight organized crime, corruption, and terrorism.
We recognize that the fight against transnational crime and terrorism requires the ability to share personal data for law enforcement purposes while fully protecting the fundamental rights and civil liberties of our citizens, in particular their privacy and personal data protection, by maintaining necessary standards of personal data protection. Our ongoing discussions within the High Level Contact Group (HLCG) on U.S. and EU frameworks for the protection of personal data have allowed us to identify a number of significant commonalities in our approaches based upon our shared values. The best way to ensure these interests are met is through a binding international agreement that addresses all the issues identified in the HLCG report. Our challenge moving forward will be to translate insights into greater collaboration in all aspects of law enforcement cooperation.
We will continue to work together to strengthen and universalize relevant disarmament and non-proliferation treaties and regimes. We agree to continue and further develop our cooperation in promoting strict implementation of and compliance with relevant treaties, agreements and commitments on non-proliferation. We will cooperate as appropriate in programmes aiming at raising awareness and at improving national capacity to prevent and counter the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threat, including by combating the financing of proliferation and the threat of nuclear terrorism. We will continue our joint efforts to better coordinate multilateral capacity building and third country assistance on non-proliferation, in particular drawing on our joint support for United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 and the decision by the Security Council to extend the important work of this universal effort through UNSCRs 1673 (2006) and 1810 (2008). We call for geographical expansion of the G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction. We will address together the challenges posed by non-compliance with regimes restricting the use or proliferation of WMD, and continue our productive dialogue on verification and compliance, established at the 2005 Summit, with a view to identifying opportunities for joint initiatives. We will continue to develop our cooperation in combating nuclear terrorism, in particular through the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism in which all EU Member States are partners.
We recognize the need for further cooperation on preventing and fighting international piracy, especially in the framework of the UN.
The security challenges we face call for enhanced cooperation on crisis management. We recognize that modern crisis management requires a comprehensive approach. We can improve our response to crises through close collaboration on all aspects of crisis management, consistent with and building upon cooperation with the UN, other nations, NATO, and other multilateral organizations as appropriate, with a particular view to enhancing transatlantic cooperation in civilian aspects of crisis management and conflict prevention through our agreed Work Plan. We recognize the contribution that a strong EU role in crisis management can bring to the world and support closer NATO-EU relations to better address a wide range of issues of common interest relating to crisis management.
We will support and work together actively in a spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to advance international criminal justice and accountability for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.
Recognizing the serious threat presented by cocaine production and trafficking, we endorse intensified cooperation on intelligence sharing and interdiction in this field, and we commit in particular to facilitate an exchange of information and a coordination of assistance efforts to address drug trafficking from Latin America, especially to West Africa.