Ashton meets Abbas, Fayyad; urges return to negotiations

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad separately on Thursday and reiterated the EU's position that Israelis and Palestinians must "find a satisfactory way to engage without delay in substantive negotiations on all final status issues."
"There is no alternative to a negotiated solution. Urgent progress is needed towards a two state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security as part of a just and comprehensive peace," Ashton said in a statement.
In addition to meeting with Fayyad and Abbas, Ashton visited the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The meetings with PA officials came after she spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and met with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Oppostion leader Tzipi Livni on Wednesday.