A senior Israeli minister said on Monday that Israel was not aiming for a peace treaty with the Palestinians this year, but only a declaration of principles.
 
Peace process backed
 
In a final communique, the ministers said they supported "the current Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, which are the only way to achieve a peaceful two-state solution.
 
"Only a comprehensive political agreement can deliver sustainable security for all peoples of this region."

The meeting called "for the immediate re-opening of the crossings between Gaza and Israel so that essential goods and services, including fuel, can be supplied on a continuous basis".

Energy and climate change were also on the agenda.

"People would think that in the area of environment, producing countries and consuming countries, like Europe, would have a conflict in this area. Completely not true," Saud Al Faisal, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, said.

"We are in the same boat. After all, we breathe the same air and we drink the same water, we live on the same earth. So these  elements affect us all."

Lebanon plan

The ministers also discussed Lebanon, migration and inter-cultural dialogue, said Michael Frendo, Malta's foreign minister.

Your Views

What now for Lebanon?

Send us your views

On Lebanon, they stressed their conviction that a plan unanimously endorsed by Arab League foreign ministers in January "is an appropriate basis for a solution to the ongoing crisis".

Nine EU countries and 12 member states of the Arab League were represented at the talks, including Spain, Italy, Ireland, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Frendo launched the initiative for the talks in September 2006 with a letter to the then-Finnish EU presidency.

Egypt offered to host the next meeting of the two blocs, but no dates were set in the final communique, which called for continued dialogue.