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Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

In the spotlight

Statement by the President of the European Council on the outcome of the UK referendum, 24 June 2016

"We are prepared for this negative scenario. There will be no legal vacuum," said President Donald Tusk following the official results of the UK referendum.

"On behalf of the twenty seven leaders I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as twenty seven," he emphasised.

Finally, he proposed an informal meeting of the 27 leaders in the margins of the European Council summit on 28-29 June to start a wider reflection on the future of the Union.


Meetings with the President of Israel and the Palestinian President

President Tusk met President of Israel Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, 21 June and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday, 23 June in Brussels. During both meetings, the leaders discussed the relations with the EU and the situation in the Middle East

"We spoke about ways to strengthen further our relationship, including the new European Neighbourhood Policy. We agreed that the European Union and Israel will identify jointly partnership priorities to give even greater focus to our cooperation," said President Tusk after the meeting with the President of Israel. Both leaders also discussed how to protect Israeli and European citizens against terrorism. President Tusk welcomed Israel's offer to deepen the cooperation on counter-terrorism, including by re-launching the EU-Israel dialogue in this area later this year. 

Concerning the Middle East peace process, President Tusk welcomed the temporary freeze in demolitions of Palestinian property announced by Israel for the month of Ramadan. "We hope this freeze can become a basis for a more permanent solution, such as a full moratorium on demolitions and confiscations in Area C of the West Bank," he said.  

During a meeting with the Palestinian President, President Tusk reassured that the EU will remain a partner in building the future democratic Palestinian state and will continue its financial support. "Of course, for these investments to bear fruit in terms of stability and sustainable socio-economic development, there needs to be peaceful co-existence, with two independent national states, Israel and Palestine," said the President of the European Council. And he added: "I urged Israel to put an end to illegal settlement activity and demolitions, which put into question the two-state solution. And in the same way, I have also condemned the recent acts of violence, such as the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv two weeks ago. There can be no progress unless there is an end to violence, and to incitement. Palestinians also need to work seriously on their internal reconciliation."

As of  1 December 2014, Donald Tusk heads the European Council - the institution that sets the EU's political direction and priorities. He is responsible for preparing and chairing meetings of the institution. He also ensures the external representation of the EU's common foreign and security policy at his level.