Speaking ahead of international peace conference, European Union spokeswoman says EU supports Arab initiative in full, and will demand right of return be included in all negotiations between Israel and Palestinians; calls on Arab League to step up involvement in talks
Ronny Sofer YNET Published: 10.10.07, 15:53 / Israel News
BRUSSELS – The right of return must be included in all negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior spokeswoman for the European Union told Israeli reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Christiane Hohmann said the EU supports the Arab initiative in full, including all of its clauses.
She added that the matter of the right of return of Palestinian refugees will be discussed in talks between the parties and that a widespread solution was needed to solve the deep conflict.
In response to the question whether the EU supports a withdrawal from the Golan Heights as part of the Arab initiative, Hohmann said the union supports the implementation of all relevant United Nations resolutions.
She also commented on the possibility that the EU become more involved in trying to solve the conflict in the region and said the solution should stem from within the Middle East.
The United States and the EU are already involved and the Arab League should also be involved, Hohmann said.
According to Hohmann, the Annapolis conference will include a number of EU representatives, including High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighborhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
On expectations for the Annapolis conference, Hohmann said the EU expects to see a document by both parties that defines how they plan to move forward on a realistic schedule.
Hohmann stressed that the EU plans to continue applying pressure on both parties in order to reach an agreement.