Solana: Stage being set for 'comprehensive peace'

Developments in the Middle East are pointing toward a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Arab world for the first time in decades, the European Union's foreign policy chief said Saturday. "The Arab League for the first time in many years has assumed the responsibility to be more active in the peace process," Javier Solana said. "If you put that together with the reaction of (Israeli) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the two things ... are beginning to construct the dynamic that could lead to the settlement of a crisis that has been with us for many years." Solana, who attended last week's Arab League summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, praised the hosts for assuming a leadership role in reviving a 2002 Arab peace initiative. "The moment in which we are living is a moment of hope that we may be able to move the process of a comprehensive peace forward," Solana told reporters at the end of a meeting of EU foreign ministers.