Prodi pessimistic over Middle East peace

European Commission President Romano Prodi said he was pessimistic about prospects for Middle East peace and that the 'apartheid wall' being constructed by Israel was the wrong approach to building trust.

    The wall is set to annex parts of the Wets Bank

    The European Union has previously urged Israel to stop building the barrier on West Bank territory beyond its 1967 borders. Israel says the wall will prevent human bombers.

    Palestinians say the wall is a ruse for Israel to annex more land.
       
    “The wall is the wrong answer to the problem,” Prodi said in answer to a reporter's question in Cairo after meeting Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, AFP reported. 

    Land grab
       
    The barrier is to run roughly along Israel's boundary with the West Bank, a territory it captured in the 1967 six-day war. 

    The route slices into the West Bank in some places to encompass some of the 150 Jewish settlements.   

    “If there is not an initiative of the two protagonists - Israel and the Palestinian Authority - even an increase in power of the United Nations will not sufficiently solve the problem. And we don't see any substantial change in this case”

    Romano Prodi,
    EC president 

    Prodi said reviving the Middle East “road map” for Middle East peace would need external support, but the starting point had to be action by both Palestinians and Israelis.

    “If there is not an initiative of the two protagonists - Israel and the Palestinian Authority - even an increase in power of the United Nations will not sufficiently solve the problem. And we don't see any substantial change in this case,” he said.
     
    “I don't think that there will be, at least in the short run, any change if there are not unforeseen events. So this is why we share a deep pessimism,” he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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