EU foreign minister congratulates Livni on new job

In a phone call, Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik has congratulated Tzipi Livni on yesterday's official assumption of office as foreign minister. "Her political work so far has been characterised by a combination of courage, clarity and frankness. I wish her the best of success for her highly responsible task on behalf of her country and for a peaceful development of the entire region," said Plassnik. Foreign Minister Plassnik assured Israeli Foreign Minister Livni of the support of the Austrian EU Presidency. "We would like to contribute to a further consolidation of the hopes for progress involved in Israel's disengagement from the Gaza Strip and the opening of the Palestinian-Egyptian border crossing at Rafah," continued Plassnik. She welcomed the decision of the Israeli government to make it possible for the inhabitants of east Jerusalem to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories. Plassnik expressed the hope that the forthcoming elections in the Palestinian Territories and in Israel would enable a full return to the road map.