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אל-חיאת אל-ג'דידה: ראיון עם שליח האיחוד האירופי לתהליך השלום

(07/11/2010)

Al-Hayat al-Jadida, 7/11/2010

Mark Otte, the EU special envoy to the peace process in the middle east, said that the situation resembles someone who "brought the horse to the water, but didn't force him to drink". Otte spoke with Al-Sharq al-Awsat during the World Economic Forum meetings, which took place in Marrakech in Morocco.

Otte said that the track which was launched on September 2nd in the White House, started in a wrong way because the extension of the freeze in the settlements was forced as a condition. Otte: "The International Community, and specially the US, promised, mainly to the Palestinians around the freezing of building in the settlements, a thing that put a spoke in the negotiations wheels" and made the situation looks like that "started the road in a car that doesn't have fuel!". Otte admitted that "the Israeli settlements are not only an obstacle for the success of the negotiations and for peace, but also they aren't legal according to the International law" and that the EU "had convicted it more than once before". Otte considered Israels' PM Benjamin Netanyahu's demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a "political maneuver".

He mentioned the necessity to use "the carrot and the stick" politics in order to reach peace in the middle east through "finding a suitable format that will combine between pressuring the two conflicting sides and encouraging them by the same time". Otte admitted Europes' fearfulness from the consequences of not achieving peace in the middle east. He mentioned that "those who will benefit from not achieving a peace agreement are the extremists".