EU Ambassador: Europe ‘Frustrated’ Over Peace Process

Lars Faaborg-Andersen, the European Union’s (EU) ambassador to Israel, said on Thursday that Europe was “frustrated” over the fact that talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) are not progressing.

Speaking at Europe Day celebrations at Haifa University, Faaborg-Andersen said, "Any agreement must reflect Israel's security interests, but there is definitely growing frustration among the EU countries that there is no progress in the peace process.”

"We are consistent in supporting a two-state solution primarily because we believe that it is a good solution for Israeli interests," he continued, adding that the EU understands that the responsibility for the failure to reach an agreement is not Israel's alone, and that a partner is needed to reach an agreement.

At the same time, he said, “We cannot accept steps which move us backwards, especially the issue of settlement construction."

Faaborg-Andersen noted that the EU favors dialogue and is against isolation, and added that the EU expects the new Israeli government to advance the peace process.

At the beginning of his remarks the ambassador praised the relationship between Israel and the EU, and said that Israel is the closest partner of the EU.

"The EU and Israel share a deep relationship in a wide variety of topics. We have trade relations, cooperation in science and technology, relationships in the tourist and other industries,” he said, adding, “Unfortunately, what resonates are the points of disagreement between us, especially in the diplomatic field.”

Referring to the impending nuclear deal between Iran and the West, Faaborg-Andersen assured Israel that it is not alone.

"We understand perfectly the Israeli concerns regarding the upcoming agreement with Iran, and we take these concerns into account in the discussions, with the goal of bringing Iran's nuclear program to be for civilian purposes only,” he said. “The missiles Iran is developing could also reach Europe and therefore we are concerned about a nuclear Iran, and it is important to us that Israel understands that it is not alone in its concerns.”

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/195167

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