The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, is urging Palestinians and Israelis alike to grab what he sees as a chance to revive the Mideast peace talks.
While on the second day of his visit to the region, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Solana pointed to Sunday’s expected major policy speech by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I don’t know what he wants to say but I want to hear they will stop settlements and that they will resume negotiations with the Palestinians and that will be done properly,” Javier Solana said. US special envoy George Mitchell is also in the Middle East, building on the diplomatic initiative recently begun by President Obama. In talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Mitchell cited recent events such as the defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon’s elections as promising. But it is Israel’s attitude to the two key issues the Arab states, Europe and the US, are waiting for; acceptance that a two-state solution is the only way to bring about peace and a halt to construction of Jewish settlements. To date, neither has been endorsed by Netanyahu.