Thursday, November 16, 2006

Israel Rejects European Peace Deal

Earlier today Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero of Spain announced a new peace plan for the Middle East, supported by France and Italy. The plan, that was to be put forward at an EU summit in December, called on:

'an immediate ceasefire and the formation of a Palestinian unity government'

and:

'an exchange of prisoners, talks between Israel's prime minister and the Palestinian Authority president and an international mission in Gaza to monitor a ceasefire.'

However, no sooner was the plan announced than the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, rejected it out of hand. According to Haaretz , Livni told her Spanish counterpart that:

'it was unacceptable for an initiative concerning Israel to be launched without Israel's coordination. She told [the Spanish Foreign Minister] that if the sponsors of the initiative were inclined, they should seek to conduct dialogue with Israel on any new initiative.'

[emphasis mine]