Obstacles to peace in Middle East have not changed in last 20 years, EU peace representative says

May 17, 2010
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European Union’s Special Representative to the Middle East peace process Marc Otte said that the obstacles to peace in the Middle East have not changed in the last 20 years.

“The impediments to the peace process are the same as 20 years ago and centre on the borders, a lack of trust and a lack of leadership that would push peace moves forward,” Otte said in Manama on the sideline of an international conference.

The official said that the European Union fully supported current efforts to move forward with the Palestinian-Israel peace talks.

“We support the negotiations and encourage regional parties to remain engaged in the peace process while we work on removing the obstacles to the success of the proximity talks. We are interested in promoting peace and we want to help the US to be strong in its determination to go ahead with the peace talks,” he said at a reception hosted by Hubert Lang, the German ambassador to Bahrain.

Otte refuted claims that the European Union was a soft power that could not influence developments in the region.

“The European Union is a political project and not a military alliance. It was set up to prevent wars between Europeans and to support good governance throughout the world,” he said. “We do not want to be a military force and soft power has often shown its usefulness. Yet, that does not mean that Europeans are afraid of military solutions. If you look at the people at the conflict spots in the Middle East, such as the Golan and South Lebanon, you will find that the majority are Europeans,” he said.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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