Livni meets foreign ministers from Middle East

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
The European Union opened up two-days of talks with foreign ministers from the Middle East to help rescue the dying peace process. Participants included Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni who met with representatives from Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania in Helsinki, Finland.

Livni said lasting peace could only come if the international community reaches out to moderate Palestinians, isolating radicals such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

She said the EU and the United States must pressure Palestinians to recognize Israel.

Livni spoke at a joint news conference with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja on Israel’s recent ceasefire. Israel joined Sunday's Gaza Strip ceasefire "because there is a need to send a message to moderates on the Palestinian side," she said.

Speaking on behalf of the 25-nation EU, Tuomioja said the Gaza Strip ceasefire offers “rays of hope” for peace with the Palestinians once they have a national unity government.

“It is important the Palestinians have a credible, representative government which no one will have any excuse not to engage with seriously,” he said.

Other participants included Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, Turkey and Tunisia.

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