Incoming EU foreign policy chief: 'We see political will to resume talks'

Two-day trip to Israel and Palestinian territories marks her first diplomatic foray as the EU's new foreign policy chief.

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November 7, 2014 11:02
1 minute read.
King David Hotel

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, EU's new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini at at Jerusalem's King David Hotel. (photo credit: NOAM MOSKOVICH)

 
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The European Union’s new foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she discerned a possible opening for the resumption of peace talks as she called for a regional approach to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We see that there might be a political will to resume the talks and to especially make sure that these talks bring results,” Mogherini said Friday at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.

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“There is a need for a regional approach. Israel’s security and safety will never be guaranteed unless there is a regional framework that fully allows that. The EU is and will remain ready to work in this direction with all partners of the region as well,” Mogherini said.

Mogherini , the former Italian foreign minister, entered her new five-year post only on Sunday, replacing Catherine Ashton.

Her two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories that began Friday morning is her first diplomatic foray as foreign policy chief and underscores what she said is a new EU focus on resolving the decades-long conflict.

“I strongly believe that the EU has a potential political role to play here [that is] even higher and more important then it was in the past,” she said.

Mogherini arrives at a particularly sensitive time in EU-Israel relations. The EU has taken a harsher stand against West Bank settlements and politicians in its member states have called for unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

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Mogherini has spoken of the need for a negotiated settlement, saying she wants to see a Palestinian state by the time she leaves office.

She and Liberman spoke jointly with the press after they had breakfast together at Jerusalem's exclusive King David Hotel.

In her statements, Mogherini condemned Israeli settlement activity, sent her condolences to the families of the two victims in Wednesday’s vehicular terror attack and spoke of her concern about the rising violence in Jerusalem.

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