Magazine article Europe-East

Middle East : Eu Continues Push for Direct Israel-Palestine Talks

Magazine article Europe-East

Middle East : Eu Continues Push for Direct Israel-Palestine Talks

Article excerpt

The foreign affairs ministers of the EU were due to meet in New York, on 20 September, as part of the so-called ministerial week of the 66th United Nations General Assembly in order to avoid a confrontation at the Security Council. The reason behind the meeting is the 16 September announcement by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, of his intention to apply to the UN Security Council for full UN membership of a Palestinian state.

The EU's ministers, who continue to take refuge behind the need to resume negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, were set to meet to persevere in their efforts to maintain a unified position on the question of recognition of the Palestinian state.

The clock is ticking: Abbas is set to present his draft resolution after the speech he will deliver to the assembly, on 23 September. Meanwhile, numerous negotiations between members of the Quartet (US, EU, UN, Russia) are being carried out in New York.

"We are working with renewed vigour" to find a constructive solution and allow negotiations to resume, an EU source insisted, adding, however, that member states needed first to analyse in detail the final draft of the resolution.

Be this as it may, if Abbas does not temper his request, the differences between the 27 member states are likely to be aired publicly.

To recall, ten or so states are sceptical (among them Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Poland), while others are in favour of a Palestinian state (Spain, Ireland and Sweden). …

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