|The EU's High Representative for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah on June 19, 2013. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)
RAMALLAH, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and European Union Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton discussed on Wednesday evening the United States' efforts to resume Middle East peace talks.
An official Palestinian statement issued after a meeting held in Ramallah said Abbas and Ashton reiterated that halting settlement construction and releasing Palestinian prisoners would create a better atmosphere for resuming the talks.
The statement added that serious talks must start to achieve the hopes and aspirations of the Palestinians to establish their independent Palestinian state.
Abbas reiterated during the meeting that the Palestinians are keen to succeed the U.S. efforts to rescue the peace process and resume the talks that lead to an end to the Israeli military occupation and establish the Palestinian state.
According to the statement, Ashton also asserted that the EU is backing the U.S. efforts, adding that the EU stance is clear in its issued statements concerning its support to the peace process and to the two-state solution.