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Livni presses E.U. on Iran, Hamas

Israel’s foreign minister urged her European Union counterparts to consider a hard line against Iran and a cautious approach to the new Palestinian Authority government. Iran “is not only a threat to Israel but to the entire free world,” Tzipi Livni said in Brussels. She also warned against lifting an embargo on direct aid to the new P.A. unity government unless it meets certain conditions set by “the Quartet” of Israeli-Palestinian peace mediators, which includes the European Union.”The E.U. must stick to its demands, keep up the pressure on terrorists and extremists while working with moderates,” Livni said. “These demands are not obstacles but rather crucial elements in the way to peace. Compromise will not help the peace process and will not end the conflict.”Israel is worried about a possible erosion in European policy toward Quartet demands that the P.A. government recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past peace deals. Last week, P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas met with French President Jacques Chirac, who spoke in favor of renewing cooperation with the Palestinian Authority even if it ignored the Quartet conditions. “Everything depends on the statements
and acts of the new government,” German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after Monday’s meeting.