|Solana to travel to Middle East next week|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 18 October 2006 00:00|
EU Foreign Ministers have agreed to send Javier Solana to the Middle East next week, in an effort to kick-start the ailing peace process. Solana, the High Representative for the European Common, Foreign and Security Policy, will visit Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, and will also meet with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority. Solana last visited the region shortly after the Israeli-Hizbullah war. It was hoped then that Israel's defeat of Hizbullah would bring a new impetus for a peace agreement in the region, but with the UN's inability to enforce its own resolutions, those hopes were lost. The international community has become frustrated with Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist, renounce violence and abide by previous PA agreements. There is a growing expectation that unless an agreement is worked out soon between the two terrorist organizations, the Gaza Strip will erupt into civil war. As I predicted, the European Union is keen to have the Palestinians adopt their National Reconciliation Document, to pave the way for the creation of a Palestinian state and provide the basis for a peace agreement with Israel.
Quote: "The EU foreign ministers reiterated calls that Hamas form a unity government with Abbas' Fatah party, and called on "all Palestinian factions to end their internal strife" and resume coalition talks. "We are ready to normalize relations as soon as there is a government we can work with," said EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner.
I think the international community is keen to get some sort of agreement implemented before the end of the year. If an agreement is not reached soon, it seems the chances of a full scale Middle East war next year will be greatly increased.
Source International Herald Tribune