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Abbas urges Europe to increase political engagement in Mideast

Arab World Materials 29 June 2010 17:01
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called on Europe to increase its political engagement in the Middle East in a way similar to its economic role.
Abbas urges Europe to increase political engagement in Mideast

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called on Europe to increase its political engagement in the Middle East in a way similar to its economic role, Xinhua reported.
  
"We are looking to Europe to carry out a bigger political role and we don't want it to be just financial assistant," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah following his meeting with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves.

For his part, Ilves said the European Union (EU) is strongly committed to finding a fair and lasting solution in the Middle East based on a Palestinian statehood "with real sovereignty" alongside Israel.

He also urged the Palestinians to follow Estonia's experience in having independence from the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, Abbas reiterated that the Palestinians will go back to direct negotiations with Israel if the ongoing U.S.-sponsored indirect negotiations make progress on the issues of borders and security.

Abbas added that he had presented the Palestinian side's point of views regarding the borders of the future Palestinian state and the security between it and Israel to Washington and that he is awaiting a response from Israel through George Mitchell, the U.S. mediator who leads the proximity negotiations.

Mitchell is scheduled to meet Abbas in Ramallah Thursday as part of his go-between mission which started in May. The proximity talks are expected to last for four months and an agreement on the borders and security is hoped to be reached to enable the resumption of full-scale negotiations.

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