01/01/2008

Annapolis : is EU a real actor in the conference?

Edito 14/12/2007

Following the American initiative, Israelis and Palestinians met on November 27 in Annapolis. The delegations were able to reach agreement on the fact of holding negotiations with a view to reaching the construction of a Palestinian state and that before the end of 2008. And as expected, negotiations have started this Wednesday, December 12 (see Annapolis: results of the conference).

This umpteenth attempt at reaching peace doesn’t get the crowds enthousiastic. Some emphasize the extremely dangerous position of negotiators (see Annapolis : description and issues of the conference). At a conference on the North-South dialogue in the Mediterranean, the Director General for External Relations of the European Commission, Mr. Eneko Landabaru, was pessimistic about the success of Annapolis cycle. What is the real role left to the European Union in this essentially American enterprise? The EU wouldn’t compromise itself by participating?

According to the EU High Representative for CFSP, Mr. Javier Solana, the EU has an important role to play (see Javier Solana’s statement during the conference), and not only as a member of the Quartet, but also as a major donor to the Palestinians. As such, the EU has co-chaired the donors’ conference for the Palestinian State Monday, December 17 in Paris. Europe has everything to gain in positionning itself as a power that counts in the Middle East, and not only as its banker.

Nathalie Janne d’Othée