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Will EU propose new Mideast initiative?

The European Union hopes that minor additions to the Iran nuclear deal might pave the way for greater dialogue with the Trump administration on Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Norway's Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide greets Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi during a session of the International Donor Group for Palestine at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, January 31, 2018.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir - RC15AF17F6A0

US President Donald Trump’s threats to withdraw from the Iran agreement and his defining of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as persona non grata for refusing US-sponsored peace talks with Israel sounded alarm bells in European Union headquarters.

A senior European Union official spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity about the talks between European representatives and US envoy Jason Greenblatt on the sidelines of the Jan. 31 meeting in Brussels of the international donor group for Palestine. The emergency meeting was convened by EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and by Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, following threats by the US administration to cut in half its funding to UNRWA, the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees.

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