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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 30, 2007
2007 U.S.-EU Summit Political Progress Report
The United States and European Union continue to put our strategic partnership to work. During the past year, we have concentrated on specific issues, and our effective dialogue -- often in advance of policy formulation -- has led to convergence on key issues. We can identify genuine progress in several areas, including those targeted by the joint declarations adopted at the 2006 Summit:
In a world of global threats and challenges our security and prosperity increasingly depend on an effective multilateral system. The United Nations Charter is an essential pillar for international relations, and the EU and the US will strive for a strong, credible and effective United Nations. We will not allow it to be paralyzed or fail to fulfil necessary tasks. Strengthening the United Nations and equipping it to fulfil its responsibilities is a joint priority. In this regard we will continue to support the ongoing reform process of the organization.
We have collaborated actively, including in Geneva, on priorities for the Human Rights Council, such as mandate review, agenda setting, universal periodic review and a Special Session on Sudan. We successfully cosponsored UN 3rd Committee resolutions on Belarus, Burma, Iran and North Korea. The U.S. has supported the active participation of the European Community in various bodies of the Peace Building Commission (PBC).
Building on our strong collaboration over the previous year, we agreed on specific actions we would undertake to promote peace, human rights, democracy and the rule of law worldwide. We held intense exchanges on countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, Burma, Cambodia, China, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Nepal. We are convinced that the effectiveness of our efforts is amplified by delivering the same political messages and coordinating possible actions.
We have seen a period of rising tension in the Middle East, including the war between Israel and Lebanon in summer 2006, Iran s continued defiance of the international community in pursuit of its nuclear program and continuing Iranian and Syrian interference in Lebanon and Iraq. But we have also witnessed promising change with the formation of a Palestinian National Unity Government, the relaunch of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and security and reconstruction developments in Iraq. The United States and the European Union have held regular consultations, in particular within the United Nations framework and the Quartet, on the evolving situation.
We welcomed the EU initiative to launch, under the auspices of the Quartet, a Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) to provide direct emergency assistance to the Palestinian people and the 240 million contribution so far into TIM from the European Union. We supported Palestinian President Abbas efforts to form a Palestinian government whose policy and actions reflect the Quartet principles and will continue to closely evaluate the performance of the new Palestinian National Unity Government in that respect. We also worked to promote implementation of the Security Sector Transformation (SST) plan, including implementation of the November 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access through the EU Border Assistance Mission to the Rafah crossing, and efforts to improve the Karni/al-Mintar commercial crossings between Gaza and Israel.
The United States and the European Union helped bring an end to the summer 2006 war between Lebanon and Israel, aided in particular by substantial European Union member state contributions to the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in Lebanon. We worked together to provide significant humanitarian assistance to those affected by the conflict, enabling the bulk of the hundreds of thousands displaced to return to their homes and begin to rebuild their lives. We welcomed the $7.6 billion in pledges of international assistance for Lebanon made at the Paris III donors conference in January 2007, including $770 million in loans and grants from the United States and $2.9 billion in loans and grants from the European Union ($535 million from the European Community budget). We called on Syria to end its interference in Lebanon and urged full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions 1680 and 1701. We urged Syria to end destabilising activities and play a more constructive role in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, as well as to reconsider its relations with Iran; we issued statements calling for the release of Syrian political prisoners.
The United States and the European Union have urged the government of Egypt to proceed with the fundamental political and constitutional reforms it announced. For example, we have specifically called on the Egyptian Government to fulfill the aspirations of the Egyptian people for democracy and meet the standards of openness, transparency, and reform that they have set for themselves. U.S. bilateral assistance aims to strengthen Egyptian efforts at political and economic reform. The EU, in its joint European Neighborhood Policy Action Plan with Egypt, has made greater participation in political life, an enhanced role for civil society, and greater respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms a policy priority. Support for the implementation of the Action Plan is a main priority of the EU s financial and technical assistance to Egypt.
The United States and the European Union have worked closely together at every stage to address the concerns raised by Iran's nuclear program. We offered Iran a set of far-reaching incentives to cease its domestic uranium enrichment activity. Given Iran s rejection of that offer, we successfully led efforts in the UN Security Council to pass resolutions 1737 and 1747, which call for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and negotiate on the basis of the aforementioned incentives package, and which impose financial, travel, and other restrictions to pressure the Iranian regime to comply with its international obligations. We have implemented those resolutions, and have taken additional steps to further encourage Iran to cooperate with the international community.
To support the economic reconstruction of Iraq, 19 European Union members have concluded agreements to forgive from 80% (Paris Club terms) to 100% of Iraqi official debt, and the United States forgave 100% of its outstanding official debt to Iraq. The United States and European Union actively engaged in ongoing support for the Iraq Compact process. The United States and twenty-five of 27 EU members have established relations with the Iraqi Government, and 16 (along with the European Commission) have set up resident missions. Total U.S. reconstruction assistance since 2003 approaches $25 billion, while the European Union and its member states have provided a total of 13.6 billion including debt relief - to date and will make further contributions in support of the Iraqi people and the International Compact for Iraq. The European Union is also conducting a successful Rule of Law training program called EUJUST LEX for Iraqi officials.
The United States and European Union continue to be among the primary contributors to Afghanistan reconstruction, through participation in the Joint Coordinating and Monitoring Board and in support of the Afghan government. At the January 26 NATO informal foreign ministerial, the United States announced a two-year supplemental request for $11.8 billion for Afghanistan. In December 2006, the European Union completed its pledge to contribute 1 billion for Afghan reconstruction between 2002 and 2006. For the same period, the combined contribution from the EU budget and by EU Member States to Afghanistan reached 3.7 billion. The EU s new budget includes another 610 million for 2007-2010. The EU has been a main donor to the Afghan National Police, helping cover the salaries of some 62,000 police officers with a contribution of 135 million so far. In February, the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council approved the deployment of a police training mission to Afghanistan that will initially include 160 officers and other experts. The EU police mission will build on the efforts of key partners that have trained extensively over 18.000 officers and non-commissioned officers over the past few years. In December 2006, the European Union approved 10.6 million for the support of provincial governance projects by Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) led by or with considerable participation of EU member states. The U.S. maintains about 500 police trainers and advisors around the country, in addition to U.S. military police. The United States has trained more than 70,000 members of the Afghan National Police since the fall of the Taliban. Over 50,000 members of the Afghan National Police have completed specialized training courses in areas such as firearms, crowd control, investigative techniques, and domestic violence. The United States has also trained more than 4600 Afghan National Auxiliary Police in ten-day courses to provide them essential skills as they help the Afghan National Police fight an urgent battle in southern and eastern Afghanistan against Taliban fighters. As part of a major pay and rank reform program, the United States and international partners are helping the Afghan National Police leadership build a merit-based leadership and discipline structure to assure that the police become widely respected public servants and officers of a society based on the rule of law.
The United States and European Union have consistently supported UN Special Envoy Ahtisaari s approach to determining the future status of Kosovo and his timeline for successfully concluding the Kosovo status process. We are committed to working towards furthering NATO-EU contacts to ensure smooth planning for Kosovo s post-status security. Pending a status resolution, we have worked within the international community to support UNMIK efforts under UNSCR 1244 to build stability and meaningful self-government in Kosovo. Having cooperated through the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe since 1999 to build peace and prosperity in the region, the US and EU have been working together closely to ensure the successful transition of the Stability Pact framework to regional ownership under the auspices of the South Eastern European Cooperation Process (SEECP). We have been united in the view that successful resolution of Kosovo's status will help accelerate the region's Euro-Atlantic integration
We have been engaged with Russia on many international issues, such as energy security, relationships with neighboring countries, and cooperation in multilateral fora. We have participated in dialogue with Russia on many political matters, including democratic freedoms and the need for the application of the rule of law, an independent judiciary, human rights, a free and independent media, and a strong civil society.
We have welcomed and supported democratic and economic reforms in Ukraine, and have assisted its efforts to achieve better energy efficiency and effective energy independence.
We have closely cooperated on Belarus to support democratization, local civil society and other democratic forces. We urged the authorities of Belarus to release all political prisoners and to stop all human rights abuses. To encourage positive political change on behalf of the people of Belarus, we have imposed further travel restrictions and targeted financial sanctions against members of Lukashenko s regime. We have issued coordinated statements on political arrests, local elections, energy security and persecution of independent NGOs.
We have achieved increased cooperation and a unified approach in our efforts towards peaceful solutions of separatist conflicts in Moldova and the South Caucasus, which would assure these states territorial integrity within internationally recognized borders. We have been cooperating inside the Minsk Group, jointly promoting the set of Basic Principles.
Together we have supported democratic and economic reforms, human rights, freedom of expression, and the rule of law in Central Asia. We have promoted regional cooperation to advance security, prosperity and stability. We have shown our support for strengthening democratic institutions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. We worked with the government of Uzbekistan to enter into an effective dialogue on human rights, and we have sought to establish an independent international investigation into the tragic events of Andijon.
Throughout the year, we have consulted on Latin America, and in this context also on Cuba, including the prospect for democracy in the future. In mid-2006, the EU renewed its Common Position on Cuba. Meanwhile, the United States released the second report of the Commission for Assistance to a Free Cuba (CAFC). On Haiti, we have worked together to support a strong MINUSTAH presence in Haiti, to maintain high-levels of international assistance and financial support for Government of Haiti development priorities, and to improve donor coordination for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The United States and European Union members worked closely together to ensure adoption of UNSCR 1706, and to make progress on transition to a more robust hybrid UN/AU peacekeeping force, as major steps towards ending the atrocities in Sudan. As demonstrated by the high-level U.S. and EU participation in the February 2007 Liberia Partners Forum, we are committed to ensuring the success of important infrastructure, community reintegration, and good governance initiatives in Liberia. Working with the UN and other key donors, the European Union and United States played an integral role in helping the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo conduct successful presidential elections, including with the EU s successful ESDP mission to help ensure stability during the elections. We joined in supporting the renewal of the MONUC mandate, due to expire on April 15. Our targeted restrictive measures have exerted pressure on regime leaders responsible for the critical political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. We have consulted extensively on Somalia, and provided substantial resources to help support political dialogue between the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and key Somali stakeholders, development of effective governance and security institutions, and rapid deployment of African peace support mission. We are also seeking to coordinate our efforts in terms of support to African Union capacity-building including for peace keeping and further development of the African Standby Force.
The United States and European Union successfully cosponsored 3rd Committee (human rights and social affairs) resolutions on Burma and the DPRK. The European Union used the ASEM Summit to press the Burmese regime to adopt a more inclusive political process and introduce a timetable for democratic reform. We continue intense exchanges on Burma at all levels.
Together the US and EU continued to support global efforts to mitigate the impacts of important infectious diseases and through the Global Fund to provide financing in support of developing countries efforts to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS tuberculosis, malaria, and polio.
The U.S. Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization has consulted with EU interlocutors in Brussels and Berlin. In addition to high-level consultations, we have organized technical consultations to implement coordination on cross-training, information sharing, and other areas of crisis management. The European Union participated as an observer in Multinational Experiment 4 (MNE-4) crises simulations led by U.S. Joint Forces Command, and is currently participating as an observer in MNE5.
The United States and (European Union s Judicial Cooperation Unit) Eurojust concluded an agreement to facilitate cooperation, coordination, and the exchange of information between investigators and prosecutors, including the posting of a U.S. Liaison Prosecutor to Eurojust. We continue to make progress toward ratification and entry into force of the U.S.-EU Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements and the implementing instruments between the U.S. and EU member states.
Continuing to take steps to strengthen the security of our borders, expert-level discussions have begun between the United States and the European Union on mutual recognition of the EU Authorized Economic Operator provisions and the U.S. Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. We have produced a Joint Threat Assessment for Weapons of Mass Effect and will work to disseminate this to the World Customs Organization for its members. A pilot project at the Port of Southhampton has been undertaken under the U.S. Secure Freight Initiative to further improve detection and response capabilities for high risk container traffic.
The United States and European Union concluded an interim agreement on the processing of Passenger Name Record data in October 2006. Recognizing a mutual interest in the alignment of our aviation security efforts, we are studying the comparability of our airport assessment programs.
The United States and European Union continued to improve procedures for information sharing and pro-actively implement Financial Action Task Force s Special Recommendations, including by enforcing cash declaration regulations for travellers and by engaging private sector financial institutions to develop partnerships to improve implementation of asset freeze measures. We continued to exchange information and best practices in expert-level discussions. Conferences on terrorism finance and money laundering issues were held with sanctions implementers (September, 2006 and April, 2007), analysts (October, 2006), and prosecutors and investigators (December, 2006). We are working together to develop a public outreach statement on the issues of fairness and transparency in the implementation of sanctions regimes.
We have engaged in detailed discussions on the legal framework governing the common fight against terrorism, and have agreed that the fight against terrorism must be conducted with respect to the rule of law and in conformity with international law including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.
In our critical efforts to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we continued to coordinate and strengthen our individual and collective efforts to implement the disarmament and nonproliferation regimes and reaffirmed the value of continuing consultations in this area. These consultations have continued in a variety of ways and fora, including the dialogue on verification and compliance that was established between the U.S. and EU at the 2005 Summit, endorsed at the 2006 summit, and continues to be productive. Our last such meeting was held in Brussels last Fall, and yet a third meeting has been scheduled in early June of this year as we continue to discuss verification and compliance challenges and identify opportunities for joint initiatives.
The United States and European Union affirmed their commitment to strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). Both have shown their full support for the Additional Protocol (AP): The EU AP is in force and the U.S. recently passed implementing legislation.
29 April 2007 marked the 10th anniversary of the Chemical Weapons Convention, a unique treaty that requires irreversible destruction of an entire class of WMD under international verification and within specific timelines. The United States and the European Union welcome progress that has been made in the destruction of CW-stockpiles and recommit themselves to strengthening the treaty and working towards fulfilment of all treaty obligations by all states parties.
We worked to make the UN Security Council resolution 1540 an effective tool to prevent the proliferation of dangerous materials and WMD to both state and non-state actors. In close co-operation with the 1540 Committee, we have supported full implementation of the Resolution including in the context of OSCE and ARF.
The United States and European Union worked together to obtain the UN Security Council s unanimous adoption of UNSCRs 1718, 1737, and 1747 which require the Democratic People s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Iran, respectively, to abide by the will of the international community. We took actions to implement the requirements set out in the resolutions to ensure we did not aid DPRK and Iran nuclear and ballistic missile programs through supply, financing, or other support.
Due in large measure to U.S. and EU cooperation, the Sixth Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) Review Conference in November 2006 was a success, with parties agreeing to an intersessional work program 2007 - 2010 which will focus in 2007 on ways and means to enhance national implementation, including enforcement of national legislation and regional cooperation. The Parties also agreed to establish an Implementation Support Unit to provide administrative support as well as to prepare documentation and serve as a clearinghouse for reporting of confidence building measures, including a secure website on CBMs.
We also worked together to promote consensus within the CD on a work program, in particular on commencing negotiations in the Conference of Disarmament of a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty banning the production of fissile material for use in nuclear weapons.
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