EU MPs back controversial int'l force for Palestine

European Union lawmakers on Thursday backed a controversial call by ten EU foreign ministers for the creation of an international force to patrol the Palestinian territories.

EU MPs back controversial int'l force for Palestine
European Union lawmakers on Thursday backed a controversial call by ten EU foreign ministers for the creation of an international force to patrol the Palestinian territories.

A letter sent by the ministers to the West's new Middle East envoy Tony Blair last week was "an encouraging message and support for his mission," members of the European Parliament said.

After Blair stepped down as British Prime Minister in June, the so-called Quartet of international mediators on the Mideast conflict - the United Nations, the United States, the EU and Russia - tasked him with getting stalled peace efforts back on track.

"The possibility of deploying an international civilian, police and military force, under the aegis of the United Nations, based on an agreed peace plan whose parties would include Israelis and Palestinians, and on an inter-Palestinian agreement, could be examined," the EU deputies said in a non-binding resolution.

Germany on Wednesday rejected the EU foreign ministers' Mideast initiative, saying the letter went clearly beyond Blair's mandate.

Berlin also criticized the ministers' claim that the so-called road map - the 2003 peace plan for the Middle East - had failed.

Proposing other solutions, the group of foreign ministers said the possibility of a "robust international force," under supervision of NATO or the United Nations, should be discussed.

The letter was signed by the foreign ministers of France, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Italy, Greece and Malta.

The release of the document coincided with press reports that Blair was seeking to widen his mandate as Mideast envoy.

DPA

Güncelleme Tarihi: 12 Temmuz 2007, 19:28
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