EU requirements in peace process not to cause problems in relations with Israel

Politics Materials 14 July 2009 22:50 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, July 14 / Trend , U.Sadikhova /

The opposite position of Israel and the European Union in terms of establishing a Palestinian state will not affect the Israeli-European relations and will not prevent further European mediation in the peace process, experts say.

Foreign Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman rejected the proposal by the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana to establish a time frame for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and recognize the Palestinian administration as a full member of the UN, Israeli Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.

Israeli Foreign Ministry has expressed preparedness to resume negotiations without preconditions, thus setting artificial time frame for the dialogue undermines the efforts on peace, RIA Novosti reported.

According to observers, the statement by Solana was caused by the delay in peace negotiations and lack of progress on them. However, this does not worsen relations between Israel and the European Union

"The international community tries to set some kind of working frame within which in around Israeli-Palestinian negotiations can take place. It is about setting boundary, so I m not sure this is exactly about trying to get Israeli to agree to timeline," said Orit Gal, chief analyst on Israeli politics at Chatham House Royal Institute of International Affairs.

Everybody knows that Israel tries to move the things forward, Gal told Trend in a telephone conversation from London.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who takes a harder position in negotiations with the Palestinians, speaks from a position of "two states for two peoples" - for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

However, the government of Likud refuses stopping the construction of Jewish settlements on the West Bank, without which the head of the Palestinian administration does not agree to resume peace talks.

Statements by the EU are more details to advance the peace process, in which, however, the primary role is of the U.S. mediation, said Yossi Mekelberg, an expert on the Arab-Israeli conflict at Chatham House.

He said that the impatience of the EU in the peace process is caused by its desire to accelerate the solution of this conflict through establishment of a Palestinian state.

"Right now Europe has very importance in the play of negotiations and let us not forget that in the peace process Europe is one of the finder of the peace process for so long," Mekelberg told Trend by telephone from London. 

The EU, along with U.S. President Barack Obama administration, also can connect to the pressure on the Arab and Israeli sides to accelerate the peace process, said Mekelberg.

According to Gal, sharp statements by the European Union proceed from the numerous diplomatic discussions on the peace process and will not be a problem in the relationship of Israel and European countries.

Despite that the Arab world welcomed the statement by Solana, the EU readiness to assist in establishing a Palestinian state could be justified only by concrete steps.

Adil Attiyya, deputy head of the Palestinian delegation to the European Union, believes that if the statements by Solana remain ineffective, the progress in the talks is least likely.

"Statements are positive, but if Europe is not involved more actively in the process, everything will remain as before, he told Trend by telephone from Brussels. - Up to now, Europe has not taken anything concrete."

He said that Solana's words, following the statements by the U.S. President on the immediate re-establishment of peace talks, demonstrate the progress in the mediation of the European Union. But its effectiveness will be shown by concrete steps of the EU in the peace process in the Middle East.