PNA welcomes bigger role by EU in peace talks

10:35, August 29, 2010      

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The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) on Saturday said it welcomes a bigger role by the European Union (EU) into Middle East peace talks.

"The PNA supports an EU representation in sponsoring the peace process and welcomes more European engagement in it," Ghassan Al- Shak'a, a senior official from Palestine Liberation Organization ( PLO), told reporters.

Al-Shak'a's remarks were in response to French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner who demanded that the EU be represented in the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians when they start next month in Washington.

Kouchner said it would be "a shame" if the EU was away from discussions since most of the aid the PNA receives has been coming from the EU.

Al-Shak'a said "the Palestinians are looking to adopt the statement of the Quartet, which the EU is a main party in it, as a basic reference for the negotiations,"

On Aug. 20, the Quartet, which also comprises the United States, Russia and the United Nations, issued a statement supporting Washington's invitation to Israel and the Palestinians to resume their talks on Sept. 2.

The negotiations have stopped in December 2008 when Israel launched a military operation in Gaza and the continuation of Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem blocked all efforts to resume the talks. But in May, the United States brokered indirect proximity discussions to bridge the gaps between Israel and the Palestinians.

Source: Xinhua


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