EU Official Calls for Support for US Peace Efforts

RAMALLAH, May 8, 2013, (WAFA) – European Union Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Andreas Reinicke said during a meeting with Palestinian journalists in Ramallah on Tuesday that United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative to relaunch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations should be supported.

“We need to give Kerry a chance and we should encourage him and support his initiative to resume negotiations,’ he said.

However, he added, the negotiations should lead to an end to the decades-old conflict.

‘We don’t believe that negotiations should be negotiations for negotiations,’ he said. ‘We are looking for substantial negotiations that will end all claims and the conflict.”

Reinicke said the Europeans have recently shown more concern that the option of a two-state solution “is in danger.”

He said the EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has ‘rang the alarm bell for this and said that there should be a new instructive initiative in 2013.’

He said that the EU believes the two-state solution is in danger because of two reasons; one is the “increasingly difficult financial situation of the Palestinian Authority – business can’t flourish if there are no opportunities – and a land locked with no access to the outside world has difficulties too.”

The second, he said, is settlement activities. “With the increasing settlement activities, all 27 foreign ministers of the EU agreed that it will be difficult to have contiguous democratic Palestinian state because very simply the territory is not there anymore! And we said that very clearly over the last year at various occasions.”

Reinicke said the EU supports the Arab Peace Initiative, which is more than 10 years old. “The 27 EU members states agreed that the Arab initiative was a good initiative which has not been fully explored to its real value.”

He said the EU suggested to both parties, Palestinians and Israelis, to have a fresh look at it to see how to make it work.

Reinicke said the EU has been supporting Palestinians at many levels – political, economic and security.

“With the support of EU and the World Bank, Palestine’s state institutions are ready,’ he said. ‘The international community agreed last year that Palestine has reached the state.”

The EU also supports Palestinian security through conducting training for the police force inside and outside Palestine to create a better security for the Palestinians, he said.

Source: WAFA News