Middle East in focus as Ashton and Clinton meet on eve of visit
EU High Representative Catherine Ashton discussed the Middle East with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell in Washington on Wednesday before travelling overnight to the region in an effort to keep the talks on track, ENPI Info Center reported
"More than anything, we would like to see of course the moratorium on settlement building continue," Ashton said during a news conference with Clinton. "But we are very keen to see the opportunity for President Abbas to stay in the talks and for them to move forward to a successful conclusion."
"So we'll be doing what we can to do, our part in that, and also talking about the work we've been doing to support the building of the Palestinian state, which is an imperative if we're going to see success of the outcome of the talks," the High Representative said.
Catherine Ashton travels to the Middle East today (September 30). During her two-day visit, she will meet the key interlocutors including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Minister of Defence Ehud Barak and US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell.