|EU Summit calls on Olmert and Abbas to meet|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Sunday, 17 December 2006 17:00|
|The EU is continuing to dictate the agenda of the Middle East peace process, calling on both the Israelis and Palestinians to make greater efforts to come to an agreement. On Sunday the European Council, also referred to as the EU Summit, urged all Palestinian terrorist organizations to show restraint after violence had flared following Abbas' call for early elections... |
Quote: ""The EU calls on Palestinian groups to show restraint. It is urgent to stop the armed clashes, to work for national unity and to resume the peace process," an EU statement said. "This is the only way to ease the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situation in the Palestinian territories." The statement, issued by Finland, which currently holds the presidency of the 25-member bloc, came as factional fighting flared in Gaza when gunmen attacked the convoy of the Hamas foreign minister and raided a training base of security forces allied with President Mahmoud Abbas.
...and it seems they got what they wanted. The following day both President Abbas and Prime Minister Haniyeh promptly agreed a ceasefire, although the fighting continues for the meantime...
Quote: "Earlier, Palestinian sources reported that Fatah and Hamas representatives reached an agreement on a ceasefire and on halting the violent incidents in the Palestinian Authority, with the assistance of the Egyptian security delegation visiting the Strip. According to the report, the parties hope that the agreements will be translated into real activity in the field, and that the activists will be calmed down.
Today, European leaders at the EU Summit criticized Israel for continuing to build settlements in the territories captured during the Six Day War and construction of the West Bank barrier, and urged Palestinians and Israelis to abide by their obligations laid out in the "Roadmap to Peace" document. The European Council also called for violations of the cease fire to end, for Palestinian legislators and Israeli captives to be released, and for President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert to hold direct negotiations as soon as possible...
Quote: "The European Council called on Monday for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet in the near future.
...and it seems once again the EU will get its way. As British Prime Minister Blair met with President Abbas in Ramallah, Abbas stated he was ready to hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert as soon as possible.
Quote: "Following his meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the Muqata complex in Ramallah on Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was "willing to meet Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in the near future and begin serious and mutual negotiations to bring the conflict to an end." "We have to meet. We need each other, and we have to deal with our problems," he said. Abbas said he told Blair that diplomatic action is necessary to bring about a two-state solution. "Security and stability will be achieved only when a peace agreement is reached," Abbas said, adding that he asked Blair to work toward ending the economic siege imposed on the Palestinian Authority and bring about the opening the crossings and the release of Palestinians currently held in Israeli jails, including the detained ministers and legislators.
So we can see that the EU in regards to the Middle East peace process is definitely calling the shots. Abbas knows that without EU funding, the Palestinian Authority could not survive. He also knows that without the EU, Fatah hasn't a chance against Hamas. Abbas now has the political incentive to make peace with Israel. As for Olmert, with not much hope of political backing from the States and the EU no longer satisfied with the status quo, he will have to make peace with the Palestinians or face political isolation. And we know that without the EU, there will be no peace agreement for the Antichrist to confirm.