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EU to push Israel-Palestine peace process as Quartet report flops

Despite cold reactions by both Israelis and Palestinians to the Quartet report, the EU is determined to establish a roadmap for an international conference on a two-state solution process.
European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (R) arrive for a joint news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany October 22, 2015.The "Quartet" of Middle East peace mediators will meet in Vienna on Friday to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to tone down their rhetoric and calm down the situation on the ground, the EU's top diplomat said on Thursday.   REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch  - RTS5MGB
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The recent report by the Middle East Quartet bluntly criticized Israel’s systematic settlement expansion and large land takeovers in Area C, targeted at preventing a two-state solution. Nevertheless, the report was met with considerable disappointment at the highest levels of the Palestinian Authority, and also a sigh of relief in the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem.

The Palestinians had hoped that similarly to the June 3 Paris summit declaration, the report would include terms of reference for the permanent status negotiations. They expected the report to specifically highlight the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative as the main basis for negotiations leading to a state along the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. Ramallah had even asked the EU and the United States for a binding timeline for negotiations, followed by a Security Council resolution.

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