18.03.2010 EUHR Catherine Ashton meets with Heads of EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM RAFAH in Ramallah

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the European Commission, Catherine ASHTON, visited EUPOL COPPS’ HQ today, Thursday 18th March, in Ramallah. The EU’s High Representative met with EUPOL COPPS’ Head of Mission, Commissioner Henrik MALMQUIST, and with EUBAM RAFAH’s Head of Mission, Colonel Alain FAUGERAS.
In reference to the Common Security and Defence (CSDP) Missions in the area, EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM RAFAH, the High Representative underlined that “our ambition remains the same. Having talked to Israeli politicians and the Palestinian Authority, and having been to Gaza today, I think this situation can not go on. It needs to move and there is a great willingness for progress. The challenge is for all of us”.
Acknowledging the achievements of both Missions so far, she added that “the work you are doing in terms of contributing to building Palestinian institutional capacity is very significant”.
With this meeting, the High Representative concluded her first visit to Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Nevertheless, she announced that she will be returning to the region soon, and that she will report to the oncoming Quartet’s meeting in Moscow, where she will represent the European Union. 
EUPOL COPPS and EUBAM RAFAH are the two civilian missions launched within the framework of the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) to help building a Palestinian institutional capacity. 
EUPOL COPPS is at the forefront of international efforts to bring security and justice to the Palestinians - in the context of the Road Map - and build the foundations of a future Palestinian State. The mandate of the Mission is to contribute to the establishment of sustainable and effective policing arrangements under Palestinian ownership in accordance with the best international standards, in the wider context of Security Sector - including Criminal Justice – Reform. 
EUBAM RAFAH is a third-party mission launched in November 2005 under the Agreement on Movement and Access. Its role is to monitor the Palestinian Authority's performance with regard to border control and customs operations at the Rafah Crossing Point. Due to the political situation, EUBAM RAFAH has suspended its operations in June 2007. However, the mission has maintained its operational capability in order to redeploy immediately, should the circumstances allow.