The European Union’s foreign policy chief is headed to the Middle East. Javier Solana, on a four-day tour that starts Monday in Israel, will meet with Israeli and Arab leaders. Solana is expected to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz, as well as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian leaders.In Lebanon he will talk with Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and in Cairo with Amr Moussa, secretary general of the Arab League, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. European officials stressed the importance of the visit in view of renewed terror attacks against Israel and Israeli counterstrikes into the Palestinian territories, the internecine conflict within Palestinian areas, as well as a French-British proposal to establish an international tribunal to investigate the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.E.U. foreign ministers met last week in Brussels with a delegation from the Arab League, which presented the Arab peace initiative. Both sides agreed to work toward a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and enhancing European Union-Arab League cooperation.
Solana heads to Middle East