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Moratinos tells Palestinians to re-engage in talks with Israel

3 février 2010

Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Tuesday urged the Palestinians to re-engage in the peace process with Israel. Speaking at a press conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, Moratinos said a re-engagement will help the European Union know where the peace process is going. « The European Union wants to play a stronger role to help the Palestinians and Israelis to re-engage in the peace process, » said Moratinos after a short meeting with Abbas. He said he found through his talks with Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Abbas « a strong decision to move forward. » But, he added, « what is important is not to start conversation and to talk. What is important is to know where we are going to lead, where the road to peace is going to be. »

Abbas said he discussed with world leaders new American ideas which US special Mideast envoy George Mitchell had brought with him in his recent trip to the region. « I can say that so far we have not been able to reach any results, » said Abbas. « We are studying everything presented to us. We are not against the peace process. We want the two-state solution. We want Israel to stop settlement activities and interventions. There are many things that need to be clear before we can talk about the position we want to take, » he said.

Moratinos said Europe is against Israeli settlements and that « settlement freeze is an international obligation on Israel. » However, he said, if the parties re-engage in the political process, « then the international community will have to provide with a follow up with what is going on and to try and stop settlement activities.« 

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