Israel gets EU's opinion on peace

Feb. 27, 2004 at 3:30 PM

DUBLIN, Ireland, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Israel's foreign minister was given the European Union's suggestions for peace in the Middle East Friday by his Irish counterpart in Dublin, Ha'aretz reported.

Israel's Silvan Shalom met with Foreign Minister Brian Cowen, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union. Cowen presented Shalom five EU opinions on the disengagement process, which began with a recommendation to continue work within the scope of the U.S.-drafted roadmap.

The EU said the goal should be to have two states -- Israel and Palestine -- existing peacefully, and Israel should facilitate the rebuilding of the Gaza Strip after withdrawal.

It also urged disengagement should be carried out with the agreement of the Palestinian Authority and should be coordinated with it, rather than as a unilateral move.

In advance, the EU said it objects to the transfer of settlers from the Gaza Strip to bolster settlements in the West Bank.

Shalom next travels to London, where he will meet Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw Tuesday.

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