EU plans to pressure Israel, Palestinians

Dec. 26, 2012 at 6:35 AM

JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- The European Union will pressure Israel and the Palestinians to reach a peace agreement in 2013, an Israeli government document predicts.

The internal Israeli Foreign Ministry document was compiled after the United Nations upgraded the Palestinians' status to that of non-member observer status and will be presented to the new government following next month's Israeli elections, Haaretz said Wednesday.

An unnamed senior Israeli official said the document predicts Israel will come under heavy pressure from the European Union to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians in 2013, the newspaper said. The Europeans, the document states, doubt a solution can be reached through the traditional format of direct talks between the sides and may try to force a solution on Israel and the Palestinians instead.

"The EU thinks there needs to be a peace process in a new format to lead to progress in 2013. We think international parameters should be formulated for the end of the conflict. We will no longer agree that the two sides should sit alone in a room and we should say yes to everything they do," an unidentified European diplomat told Haaretz.

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