Israel’s foreign minister played down speculation that the European Union
is softening its stance against the Palestinian Authority under Hamas. E.U.
leaders said last week that they were willing to embrace a coalition
government between the ruling Palestinian Authority faction Hamas and the
more moderate Fatah if its platform “reflects” Western peacemaking terms.
The phrasing prompted Israeli pundits to suggest that the Europeans
were breaking with U.S. demands that the Palestinian Authority
explicitly recognize Israel, renounce terrorism and accept past peace
deals as a precondition for the resumption of Western aid.
But Tzipi Livni said Monday she saw no change in the E.U. stand. “The
European statement is identical to that of 10 months ago,” she told Army
Radio. “In the past they also used the word ‘reflects.’ “
Livni said the
Europeans were awaiting word on the diplomatic plans of the Palestinian
Authority coalition government, whose formation is considered imminent.
“At the moment Europe hasn’t changed its stand, and we hope it won’t do
so,” she said.