|Solana: We want peace by end of 2007|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 18 January 2007 17:00|
|Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy has stated Europe will do everything they can to facilitate a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. He made the comments as he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the second day of his four day Middle East tour. |
Quote: "Following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Friday, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said that positive developments have been occurring recently that could contribute to the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. "We are aware that the process will not be easy, but we are here to help remove obstacles, and you can count on us to make efforts to that end," Solana said.
Part of the reason for this renewed optimism may be the transfer of $100 million in tax revenues by Israel to President Abbas. The President later took a trip to see the exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Damascus, who holds ultimate sway over the Palestinian Authority. Last year Javier Solana undertook the personal goal of working towards the release of the Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit, who is being held captive by Hamas in Gaza. It is believed that Egypt at one stage was very close to finalizing a deal with Hamas for the release of Gilad. And of course Egypt was the first stop in Javier Solana's four day tour. I can't help but wonder whether this visit of Abbas to Damascus and the $100 million has anything to do with Solana's negotiations with Mubarak. Yesterday Solana spoke with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and stated he hoped a peace agreement could be on the table by the end of 2007...
Quote: "European Union chief diplomat Javier Solana and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit in Cairo on Thursday called on Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace agreement by the end of 2007.