EU to start Israeli-Palestinian initiative based on Obama's speech

Saleh Naami , Tuesday 14 Jun 2011

Major EU member states are in agreement on the initiative, but Prime Minister Netanyahu is not expected to budge

In its Tuesday issue, the Israeli daily Haaretz revealed that the European Union has put forward a political initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the broad outlines of Barak Obama’s ‘1967 borders’ speech.

The paper mentioned that the EU High Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton had dispatched a letter to the US Secretary of State and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs to hold an urgent meeting of the Quartet on the Middle East to discuss the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders.

The newspaper said that Ashton’s call came with the full agreement of France, Germany, Britain and Spain. Haaretz clarified that the European initiative is based on the cancellation next September of the UN's unilateral approach for an international recognition of a Palestinian state.

Publishing the script of Ashton’s letter, Haaretz said that the US administration will not object to the assembly of an international conference even though Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has not given a positive response to Obama’s speech. Netanyahu is widely expected to reject on principle the returning to 1967 borders, European sources told Haartez.

In his turn, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman rejected the Euro initiative, saying it only aims to keep the Palestinian case on the International Community’s agenda. In a meeting with Israeli Radio Tuesday morning, Lieberman said that the international prioritization of the Palestinian case is naïve in the light of the transformations in the Arab World, Iran and Afghanistan.

Short link: