bernard kouchner 311.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The European Union said Saturday it will not participate in the US-backed peace
talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority due to start on
Thursday in Washington.
wants regular talks with AbbasEuropeans hail
return to negotiating
A spokesman for the bloc's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said
she will be in Beijing meeting with Chinese leaders at that time.
Spokesman Darren Ennis also said "for the EU as a whole, the focus is on
a successful outcome of the talks (and not) on the choreography or who
goes to Washington."
Ennis was responding to a statement Friday by French Foreign Minister
Bernard Kouchner, who said it would be "too bad" if the EU were locked
out of the peace process.
Ennis said "the spotlight should be firmly focused on the talks
On Friday, Kouchner said it would be "too bad" if the EU were locked out
— noting the bloc's political involvement in the region and its role as
a top contributor of financial aid to the Palestinians.
said he had written a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine
Ashton expressing his concern.
The US administration is
hoping for a breakthrough during the new rounds of negotiations set to
begin Sept. 2.