EU's Solana says "political will" key to solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict 2009-02-19 07:09:19   Print

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts 

    BRUSSELS, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said on Wednesday that "the political will" from Israel, the Palestinians and the international community is key to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    "We hope the new (Israeli) prime minister and government will be solid interlocutors for peace talks," said Solana at a plenary session of the European Parliament (EP) in Brussels, adding that "the Palestinians must (also) get their house in order."

    He stressed that intra-Palestinian reconciliation would be the "key to peace, stability and development."

    Meanwhile, he said that the EU maintains its commitment to a viable Palestinian state, living side-by-side with Israel, and would give firm backing to all who wanted a peaceful solution.

    Solana, who has recently returned from a visit to the United States, also described the conditions for America and the EU to work together for peace in the Mideast as "probably better than ever."

    Noting the humanitarian situation in Gaza was "heartbreaking," Solana said an urgent solution was needed to reduce the suffering of the people there.

    While promising that the EU was prepared to assist on the path to Mideast peace, the top EU diplomat urged other parties to act.

    "It is clear that no single country, no single organization can tackle the conflicts alone," he said, adding that what was needed was "multilateral solutions," including a role for the Quartet, which comprises the EU, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.

    He emphasized that peace in the Middle East requires a united Arab world and that the upcoming Arab summit is crucial.

    European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, who also spoke at the EP plenary session, called on all Israeli leaders to make "sustained commitment to a solution" to the conflict with the Palestinians.

    The Israeli general elections, during which the centrist Kadima party and the center-right Likud party ran neck-to-neck, had cast shadow over prospects for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

    Kadima led by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni secured 28 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (parliament), just one seat more than the Likud led by Benjamin Netanyahu. No matter who will be assigned by President Shimon Peres to form a new government, it will be a difficult mission as both parties have difficulties to form a coalition.         

Editor: Yang Lina
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