RAMALLAH, Feb 16 (JMCC) - European Union countries want Israel
to come up with a concrete plan to advance the peace process with Palestinians, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman Tuesday, according to
the Jerusalem Post.
Ashton is currently on a tour of the region and has met with Palestinian and Israel leaders.
One position that has been articulated recently by EU officials is that with new governments to be formed in Egypt, Tunisia, and perhaps elsewhere in the region, positive steps by Israel on the Palestinian track could go a long way toward strengthening moderate forces in those countries, and taking the Palestinian issue away from extremists who might use it to win electoral support.
Ashton gave no indication that the EU would recognize Palestinian independence in September if an agreement was not reached by then, saying that the Palestinians had not raised the matter with her.
Lieberman, following his meeting with Ashton, said that rather than focusing on the Palestinian situation, the international community should first solve the Iranian problem.