Solana: Decision pending on Israel ties

EU foreign policy chief says decision to be made on frozen upgrade after J'lem completes policy review.

Javier Solana 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Javier Solana 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The European Union will only make a decision on a frozen plan to upgrade ties with Israel when Jerusalem completes its review regarding peace talks with the Palestinians, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Wednesday. Solana said "not much has advanced" during talks with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Prague, and that Israel was well aware of the stance of the EU, which calls for a two-state solution. "They are in the process of review," he told reporters. "They have to see how they can make something that is compatible with that." After meeting Lieberman earlier this week, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that "it is in our common interest for Europe to have stronger ties with Israel so that Europe will be able to play a greater role" in the Middle East. However, last week, the EU's commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's refusal to endorse a Palestinian state and said the upgrade would depend on Israel's commitment to the two-state solution.