Egypt says "no positive moves" from Israel on peace

Israel Materials 27 April 2009 16:26 (UTC +04:00)

Israel's new government has not made a single positive move towards making peace with the Palestinians since it took power, Egypt's foreign minister said on Monday.

"I do not believe the Israeli government has taken any positive moves up to this moment - nothing whatsoever," Ahmed Abul Gheit told journalists in Luxembourg after a meeting with EU counterparts, dpa reported.

Abul Gheit was speaking after the EU agreed to work on strengthening its ties with his country. The EU has already agreed to upgrade its relationship with Israel, but that process has come under fire following Israel's Gaza offensive and the new government's expansive settlement policy.

EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said on Monday that it was too early for the EU to strengthen ties with Israel.

"On the one hand, the upgrading was an offer that in principle still stands. But for it to be taken up and pursued, we need to be sure that we are working with the same terms of reference; and for Europeans, the context of EU-Israel relations remains the same: work for a prosperous, secure and peaceful Middle East," she said.

That should include "an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state living peacefully beside Israel with East Jerusalem as its capital," she said.