Spain: 'Road map' not working, need new ME plan

October 24, 2006 16:49

One of Europe's foremost voices on the Middle East said Tuesday that the "road map" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians is doomed, and that a major new initiative is needed to resolve a conflict that has seemed to stretch on without end. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told a parliamentary panel that Europe has a historic opportunity to take the lead in pushing for new talks, and hinted that it was too late to revive the American-backed blueprint for peace known as the "road map." That initiative, launched in June 2003, envisioned a Palestinian state alongside Israel but stalled almost from the outset because neither side met their initial commitments. "It is necessary that this diplomatic initiative be led by the European Union, not with small, gradual steps but with a major initiative that has great scope," said Moratinos, a former EU envoy to the Middle East considered to have excellent contacts throughout the region.

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