Sarkozy seeks greater role for EU in Middle East talks

From EJ Press.Org

French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the European Union should to have a greater role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, adding that current US-led efforts were not working.

“I observe that, 10 years after Camp David, we have made no progress and perhaps we’ve even gone backwards in terms of resuming dialogue. You can see there’s a methodological problem,” he told journalists.

“This isn’t about criticizing anybody, in fact I want to pay homage to the considerable efforts of US President Barack Obama to relaunch the peace process,” Sarkozy said after a meeting in Paris with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

He said he would invite President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for a summit meeting in Paris before the end of October. These talks, he said, should help prepare a summit in late November of leaders from European and Mediterranean countries including Middle East countries.

Direct Israeli-Palestinian talks resumed on September 2 after a 20-month hiatus, under the auspices of the United States but without the other Quartet members the EU, Russia and the United Nations.

“The Quartet and its members must collectively and concretely carry out the supervisory role that is theirs,” President Sarkozy said.

“We (the EU) don’t want to be simply spectators who watch time pass,” he said, adding that “we have decided to take initiatives and we are playing this role.”

“It is not viable for Europe to contribute money and then be outside the political process.”

Asked if his call for more talks in Paris complicated U.S. peace efforts, Sarkozy said nothing could be done without U.S. support but that was not enough in itself to secure a lasting solution to the Middle East conflict.

“Nothing will be resolved without strong American backing,” he said. “But does the strong commitment that’s needed have to be exclusive? That’s been the question for 10 years, since Camp David. If such an exclusive commitment was enough, we’d know it.”

The Palestinian leader said no hasty decision would be taken on walking out of the peace talks and a final decision on this would be made at the October 4 meeting of the Arab League.

– Prophecy News Watch

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