Israel, EU discuss Mideast peace talks

JERUSALEM — EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton held talks on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the international community seeks to relaunch peace talks.

By (AFP)

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Published: Sun 19 Jun 2011, 9:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:21 AM

Neither side issued a statement after the afternoon discussions, which came after Ashton met earlier in the week with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

The Palestinians called on the European Union to support them as they head to the United Nations to seek recognition and membership for a Palestinian state.

But many EU nations oppose the UN push, and European and US representatives have sought in recent weeks to develop peace initiatives that could convince the Palestinians to put the bid on hold.

Israel has also stated firm opposition to the move, which it says would undermine the possibility of new peace talks.

On Friday, Lieberman told Ashton there was currently ‘no chance’ negotiations would resume if the Palestinians sought UN recognition and warned that if the world body recognised a Palestinian state it would render previous agreements signed by Israel null and void.

The Palestinians insist that their push for international recognition does not rule out the possibility of new talks. But they concede they think it is unlikely that negotiations, mired in a stalemate, will resume in the near future.

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