Senior European official hails Olmert plan
European Commission's top foreign policy official on Monday hailed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's planned West Bank pullback, dubbing it a "very courageous step." At the same time, the official, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, asserted that a" durable peace can only be achieved through dialogue and negotiations."
According to the AP, Ferrero-Waldner is in the region to discuss a new mechanism that is being launch to direct international humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.
Ferrero-Waldner met in Jerusalem on Monday with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who refused to comment on the EU aid plan.
On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he was rallying Arab nations to block Israel's plan to unilaterally redraw its borders and instead support the U.S.-backed proposal envisioning a Palestinian state.
In a statement issued following Olmert’s recent visits to England and France, European Union officials said the EU “will not recognize any change to the pre-1967 border other than those agreed by both sides.”
The statement essentially rejected the notion of Israel setting its permanent borders by itself through “realignment” if no Palestinian peace partner emerges in the PNA.
Olmert has still not disclosed any details of the plan such as where the exact borders will be but has admitted Israel will withdraw from up to 90% of the land it occupied in 1967.
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- Israel: ”Significant progress” during Abbas - Olmert talks
- Olmert: Israel, Palestinians ”closer than ever” to peace
- Rice hints US may agree to Israeli unilateral moves as Abbas congratulates Olmert