Solana and Mubarak talks center on Palestinian issue

Jered Stuffco
2 Min Read

New governmental approach imperative to jumpstart peace process

CAIRO: The European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana met with President Hosni Mubarak yesterday in a bid to jumpstart the moribund Middle East peace process, according to an EU spokeswoman.

The discussions centered on the creation of a new Palestinian unity government, which would allow a new round of talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, said Solana’s spokeswoman Christine Gallach.

In an interview with The Daily Star Egypt, Gallach said that the EU is “supporting the president’s efforts to have a government he can work with.

One of the possibilities is that a group of independent technocrats and political experts be set up to work in a cooperative effort with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas and Israel to bring about an end to the current impasse between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Dialogue between the two sides has been muted since Hamas was elected last January.

Hamas refuses to renounce violence and recognize Israel’s right to exist and has been boycotted by Western governments.

On Saturday, Solana told AFP that he hoped there would be “positive developments from Abbas on how he would like to move on with the current Hamas government, according to AFP.

Discussions about Iran and its ongoing uranium enrichment activities were also on the agenda in Cairo, along with talks about establishing a force of UN peacekeepers in Sudan to help quell the conflict in the Darfur region, which has led to an estimated 200,000 deaths and the dislocation of about 2.5 million refugees.

“This is not easy . on that, Egypt can play a very important role because of its relations to Sudan, said Gallach.

The meeting in Egypt is the final stop of a Middle Eastern tour that has seen Solana stop for discussions in six countries.

Egypt is seen as a key ally in brokering a new peace plan because of its peaceful relations with Israel.

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