BRUSSELS, September 14, 2011 (WAFA) – EU High Representative Catherine Ashton said Wednesday, 'The mandate that I have to be in the region, the Middle East, this week, is to seek ways in which we can get negotiations moving and to find a way in which the people of Israel and the people of Palestine can live side-by-side, in peace and security.”
In an EU press release, she said “to do that I've been in Cairo discussing with the Arab League how we can work with them to ensure that whatever is finally decided upon for the United Nations fits with those objectives, to bring the international community together with the people of both Israel and Palestine in order to achieve that.”
“I've met with the follow-up committee of the Arab Peace Initiative, had a long discussion with the Arab League Secretary General Nabil Al- Arabi, and then met with Palestinian President Abbas and his team to discuss with them how best we can achieve that objective, which I believe is in the best interests of their people,” she added.
She said “I'm now in Israel where I met this morning with the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and will stay longer than I planned, at their request, so that we can talk again this evening in order to try and further that objective.”
Ashton said, “Doing all of this with our Member States, working closely with the United States, the United Nations and Russia, our partners in the Quartet, in all of that we can try to take this further forward. And I hope that in the coming days what we'll be able to achieve together will be something that enables the negotiations to start.”'That is the objective of the European Union in all that we do and as I said, it is the mandate that I have,' she concluded.