Middle East diplomacy gathers pace

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Middle East diplomacy gathers pace

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It is a very busy day of Middle East diplomacy with meetings taking place all over the region.

The EU’s foreign policy head Catherine Ashton has been visiting the Hamas-run Gaza enclave, and she will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu later today.

She told her mainly Palestinian audience she wanted the blockade of Gaza to be further relaxed.

“The EU’s position is very clear. We want the opportunity for people to be able to move around freely or to see goods not only going into Gaza but also exports coming out,” she said.

Israel is letting more vital supplies in but rules out exports. The reason is simple says Finance Minister Yuval Shteinitz;

“Some Europeans tend to ignore the real character of the Hamas regime in Gaza. This is the most brutal regime on the face of the earth.”

Ashton does not plan to meet Hamas leaders on this visit, her second to Gaza in four months.

Netanyahu is also having a busy Sunday. After the Israeli cabinet meets, he was going to see Egypt’s President Mubarak, who was then meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.