Ashton coming to Israel after EU passes Iran sanctions

January 23, 2012 15:05

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is set to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for talks, just a day after the EU decided to ratchet up sanctions against Iran, and a day before Israeli and Palestinian officials are expected to meet for a fifth time in Amman.

The EU's decision Monday to embargo Iranian oil and freeze the assets of Iran's central bank, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic process, are expected to be the focus of her discussion with Israeli leaders.

The Amman talks on Wednesday are expected to go a long way toward determining whether this particular channel of direct negotiations will continue. The Palestinians have said that January 26 is the deadline by which Israel– according to a framework laid out by the Quartet in September – must present its comprehensive proposals on border and security issues. 

Israel has said the deadline for presenting these proposals is not until early March. It is not clear whether the Palestinians will continue the Jordan talks after January 26.

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