European Commission president José Manuel Barroso began his visit to Israel on Monday by meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. During the meeting Barroso urged a prompt renewal of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Barroso emphasized the close relations between the EU and Israel, both in political and economic terms.

The two discussed the regional situation and Barroso voiced concern over the situation in Syria as well as discussing the Iranian threat with the prime minister.

Barroso began the formal part of a three-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority with meetings in Ramallah on Sunday, where he expressed concern at settlement construction and warned against ignoring the Israeli diplomatic process because of the upheavals in the region.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report

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