EU: Solution for mideast increasingly impossible

14th July 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 July 2006, BRUSSELS - European Union diplomats voiced concern Friday that a two-state solution for the Middle East seemed increasingly impossible and that Israeli action raised "certain questions."

17 July 2006

BRUSSELS - European Union diplomats voiced concern Friday that a two-state solution for the Middle East seemed increasingly impossible and that Israeli action raised "certain questions."

"The action now only takes the parties step by step away from a two-state solution, from peace and stability in the region," an EU diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Israel has the right to defend itself, but it must respect international humanitarian law," the envoy said, adding that "certain actions do raise certain questions."

Countries worldwide must try to bring their influence to bear to help stop the on-going violence, the diplomat stressed.

"We are at a loss," a senior EU envoy said earlier. "This is an escalation of the conflict which we had not expected a little earlier."

Spiralling violence in the Middle East following Israel's attacks on Lebanon and Gaza - aimed at winning the release of three Israeli soldiers being held by militants - look set to dominate a meeting of EU foreign ministers Monday in Brussels.

EU diplomats also said that the bloc wants to keep up contact "with those who search for peace using peaceful means which includes (Palestinian president) Mahmoud Abbas."

Contacts with the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah are also not ruled out, they added.

The EU earlier criticized Israel for its "disproportionate use of force" response to the abduction of Israeli soldiers and warned of a "risk of a return to open warfare."

Meanwhile, the European Commission on Friday said it was sending 50 million euros ($63 million) in aid to provide Palestinian people with food, health care, water and sanitation.

The EU executive said the new aid package would come on top of an international temporary fund, set up for supplying needs-based aid to the Palestinians, which is worth 105 million euros.

The 25-member bloc froze all aid to the Palestinian Authority following the election victory of Hamas this January, saying assistance would only resume once the militant group recognized Israel, renounced violence and promised to abide by past treaties.

DPA

Subject: German news

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