November 9, 2014

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New EU foreign policy chief wants to see Palestinian state in five years

Federica Mogherini, who took over from Catherine Ashton, says Israeli-Palestinian peace will be main goal of her term.

By Haaretz | Nov. 5, 2014 | 1:50 AM |  5
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European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini  in Brussels, November 4, 2014

 European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels, November 4, 2014 Photo by Reuters
 The European Union’s new foreign policy chief said on Monday that she wants to see the creation of a Palestinian state by the end of her five-year term in office.

Federica Mogherini told reporters that one of her main goals will be to work toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and that she intends the EU to be more intimately involved in the Middle East than in the past.

Mogherini, Italy’s former foreign minister who took over from Catherine Ashton on Saturday, said that simple recognition of the Palestinian state by European countries, like Sweden, which became the first to do so last week, is not enough.

“What’s important for me is not whether other countries, be they European or not, recognize Palestine… I’d be happy if, during my mandate, the Palestinian state existed,” she told French newspaper Le Monde, Newsweek reported.

Mogherini said that considering the fact that Europe is the biggest donor to the Palestinian Authority, the EU needs to take a more hands-on approach to the conflict. “You cannot be a payer without being a political player. This is not sustainable,” she told the Guardian.

Mogherini intends to visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority, including the Gaza Strip, later this week, Newsweek reported.