Haaretz (Analysis)
August 29, 2011 - 12:00am

Changes in the Middle East have given "even more momentum" to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Monday.

Summing up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, she said the recent changes which have overtaken the region have provided the impetus to "the need to try and find a solution that will enable the people of Israel and the people of Palestine to live in peace and security together."

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and President Shimon Peres, August 28, 2011.
Photo by: GPO

"We have a real opportunity to see what more can be done to take this forward and find ways in which both countries could find the future together," an EU statement quoted her as saying.

During her visit, Ashton met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, as well as President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Ashton ended her latest Middle East trip on Monday with a visit to Jordan, during which she discussed the fallout of the uprisings in the Arab world, particularly the situation in Libya, with Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"The discussions focused on the developments currently witnessed by certain Arab countries and their repercussions on the security and stability of the region," said a royal court statement.

They also spoke about pushing forward the Middle East peace process towards resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-state vision.

"Ashton set forth ... the role that can be played by the Arab and European countries in shoring up security and stability in Libya," the royal court statement said.


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