|Solana disappointed over no unity government|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Friday, 01 December 2006 17:00|
|Javier Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, expressed regret today over the failure of Palestinian terrorist organizations to form a unity government. Expectations had been that a government should have been formed by Hamas and Fatah around this time, and the visit of Solana to the region was timed to coincide with that. |
Quote: "''Very sadly, I have to say the chance has been lost,'' he told reporters. Solana reiterated the need for the current Palestinian government to comply with the demands of the international community. Abbas' meeting with Solana is part of a series of talks held by the PA Presidents with European officials, including German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Jonas Gahr Store.
But the EU's determination has not been stifled by the failure to form a Palestinian unity government. Today Prime Minister Romano Prodi has offered to station troops on the Philadelphi corridor between Egypt and Gaza, the West Bank and also the border between Syria and Lebanon.
Quote: "Prodi met Saturday with Meretz Chairman MK Yossi Beilin in Rome and told him that Italy is interested in helping prevent arms smuggling to Hamas and Hizbullah. He elaborated that Italy is waiting for an answer from Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was asked if he would agreed to the presence of armed monitors in Lebanon, along its border with Syria. Prodi added that a multinational force should be deployed in the West Bank as well, in order to promote a cessation of violence between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
Last month the European Commission voted in favour of an international force similar to that of UNIFIL, being stationed in Gaza in order to keep the peace. Javier Solana also called for such a force to intervene in the Middle East conflict. EU troops in the Middle East would of course dramatically change the situation on the ground, and could provide an environment in which a covenant of peace could be signed.