RAMALLAH, Mar. 15 (JMCC) - The European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton stated that Israel's settlement
enterprise 'undermined' the tentative proximity talks that were about to take place, while delivering a speech to the Arab League in Cairo, on Monday.
The EU position on settlements is clear. Settlements are illegal, Ashton stated during her speech.
The Israeli Interior Ministry
revealed plans to build 1600 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem
last week, while US Vice President Joe Biden was visiting the country. The announcement sparked a row between the two countries that has their close relationship under the most strain seen in decades.
Ashton, in an effort to push the peace process forward will be in the region for the next few days. She spoke vaguely in her speech about additional aid and support for the Palestinians in a bid to steer the parties towards talks and a two-state solution.
Ashton will join US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as leaders from the Quartet, UN, and Russia in Moscow on Friday to discuss the Middle East peace process.
I hope on Friday what you will see is a reinvigorated Quartet able to work together to try to support the process forward, Ashton told a news conference following her speech.
The Palestinian leadership has reportedly decided against proximity talks until Israel
cancels its latest plans for expanding settlements on occupied territory