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EU foreign policy chief holds talks in Middle East

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EU foreign policy chief holds talks in Middle East

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The European Union’s top foreign policy chief has been holding talks with both Israelis and Palestinians to try to promote dialogue between the two.

Meeting with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert in Jerusalem, he urged him to avoid any unilateral steps as part of Israel’s so-called “realignement plan” to withdraw most Jewish settlers from the West Bank. The meeting came a day after Olmert met Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Sharm el Sheikh where the Israeli leader reiterated his country’s commitment to the “road map to peace” in the Middle East. Javier Solana later travelled to Ramallah for talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The meeting came less than 24 hours before a deadline runs out for the ruling Hamas and Abbas’ Fatah faction to agree over a document that would recognise the existence of Israel.