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Ashton: Revived talks opens new doors for EU contribution to peace, security
July 31, 2013 14:31
EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton says she "firmly believes" that an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in reach.
US SECRETARY OF STATE John Kerry walks with EU official Catherine Ashton in Washington, Feb 14

Kerry and Ashton 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

The revival of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians "opens new doors" for developing further European Union contribution to peace and security in the region," EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday.

In a statement to the press, Ashton stated that the EU will be "fully engaged with both parties and will make every effort, together with our partners, to ensure that negotiations succeed."

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Her remarks follow strong Israeli-backlash after the EU issued new directives forbidding cooperation with Israeli entities in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, and could be seen as an attempt to reach out once more to the Israelis.

She stated: "Both Israel and the Palestinians have a reliable friend and ally in the European Union."

Ashton welcomed the resumption of direct talks between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams in Washington DC, commending Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts in achieving "a crucial first step towards a lasting peace."

Firmly backing the process, Ashton emphasized that she "firmly believes that a final end to this conflict is within reach."

The EU representative called on Israelis, Palestinians and all those seeking a solution to support politicians now engaged in talks.

"I call on all those who wish to see anegotiated solution to support those now engaged in talks so that the opportunity for peace can be seized," Ashton said.
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