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Home >> World
UPDATED: 11:04, August 30, 2005
Abbas highlights EU role in Mideast peace
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas highlighted on Monday the European Union's role in promoting the Middle East peace process.

Abbas made the remarks in a joint news conference held here with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana who is touring the region.

"We are in bad need for the European Union to stand on our side," Abbas said. "There is of course important political and economical efforts the union is playing."

Israel evacuated all 21 settlements in the Gaza Strip and four in the northern West Bank last week, the first withdrawal from lands the Palestinians want for a state.

Disputes between Israel and the EU have mounted after the EU wanted to activate its role in the peace process, while Israel insisted this role should focus only on economical and civil issues.

Asked by reporters whether the EU would change its stance considering Hamas as a terrorist organization, Solana said "until this moment, we are not going to change our attitude."

"We still keep our position and we hope that Hamas would behave in a way that we would be able to change our position," said Solana.

Solana also pledged support for the Palestinian security forces. "We will help the Palestinian National Authority to exert all its efforts to prevent militant attacks and we will also tell everyone that such actions will cause severe damage," said Solana.

Source: Xinhua

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