Palestinians Seek Recognition of a Palestinian State at the UN Summit in September; European Union Calls on Israel and the Palestinians to 'Engage Urgently in Negotiations' in the Peace Process The European Council also supports the initiative to call a conference in Paris to provide economic support for the construction of the Palestinian State in the framework of a relaunched peace process.
June 25, 2011
In Brussels, leaders of European Union call on both sides to abstain from "unilateral actions," say need for negotiations is urgent.
European Union leaders, who met in Brussels for their semester-end summit, called on Israel and the Palestinians "to engage urgently in negotiations."
They called on all parties "to abstain from unilateral actions that are not conducive to a comprehensive solution," a reference to plans by the Palestinians to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations in September.
"Only the resumption of direct negotiations could provide a realistic chance of improving the situation on the ground, thus leading to a lasting and comprehensive solution," they said Friday in a declaration issued after their talks.EU leaders expressed support to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s call for the Quartet "to create a credible perspective for the re-launching of the peace process as a matter of urgency."
"The Arab spring is an invitation to redouble our efforts for progress on the Middle East peace process and to overcome the current stalemate, while respecting previous agreements and obligations," said Herman Van Rompuy, president of the EU Council, at a press conference.
"The European Council also supports the initiative to call a conference in Paris to provide economic support for the construction of the Palestinian State in the framework of a relaunched peace process."Netanyahu says he has told Israeli citizens they must accept Palestinian state living alongside Israel, gov't ready to negotiate.
June 13, 2011
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel is ready to engage in negotiations with the Palestinians, adding that efforts towards a unilateral declarations of Palestinians statehood delay the peace process instead of advancing it, Israel Radio reported Sunday.
Speaking to Italian media in Rome, Netanyahu added that he has told his nation to recognize a Palestinian state living alongside Israel, and the expects Palestinian Authority President Mahmous Abbas to say the same.
Netanyahu praised his counterpart Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's efforts to promote the peace process, stressing the friendly relations between Israel and Italy.
In May, Berlusconi supported Israel's position vis-a-vis the peace process saying that Italy would not recognize the unilateral declaration of the Palestinian state the Hamas-Fatah government is preparing for in September at the UN General Assembly.
The Italian prime minister said "when there is a dialogue that will represent all of the Palestinians, we can make progress," adding that there could "be no other future other than peace in our region."
Netanyahu was scheduled to meet Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno who promoted an extensive campaign for the release of Gilad Schalit, hanging a large poster of the kidnapped soldier in the Town Hall square, and even granting Schalit honorary citizenship.
The prime minister will reportedly meet Tuesday with Berlusconi, Parliament chairman Jean Franco Finn and other executive officials.