EU leaders in Brussels have been given a first-hand briefing on how Palestinian power-sharing talks are progressing.
They met key figures involved in efforts by Fatah and Hamas to form a unity government – a process that is proving difficult. Whatever the outcome, events in Israel do not bode well for Middle East peace, according to the Palestinian Foreign Minister. “It is very clear from what we have really heard and what we expect, it is going to be a far-right Israeli government, an anti-peace government, and, if that is the case, then you know, all efforts and all expectations for the renewal of negotiations between Israel and Palestine will be totally wasted,” said Riad al-Malki. “I think you know the international community has to take up its responsibility.” News from Israel is unlikely to reassure the minister. Prime Minister-designate, Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu, has just secured his first coalition partner – the ultra-right Yisrael Beiteinu party. Its leader, Avigdor Lieberman, is now expected to be named foreign minister in the next government.