Wednesday

23rd Jan 2019

EU down on Sharon-Bush agreement

The EU has reacted with wariness to an apparent shift in US policy towards the Middle East.

"The European Union will not recognise any change to the pre-1967 borders (of Israel) other than those arrived at by agreement between the parties", Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen said in a statement on behalf of the EU presidency.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

His words come after US President George W. Bush on Wednesday (14 April) called Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's plans to disengage from Gaza and parts of the West Bank "historic and courageous".

Mr Sharon's plan envisages uprooting all settlements on the Gaza Strip but holding on to some settlement blocs in the West Bank.

Up until now, the US has viewed Jewish settlements as an obstacle to peace.

Mr Bush's backing of Mr Sharon's unilateral plan comes despite the Middle-East roadmap to peace which was drawn up by the US, the EU, Russia and the UN.

For their part, Palestinians fear that the US's support for the plan could mean that their hopes of establishing a state that includes all of the West Bank and Gaza have been lost.

The European Commission also reacted with caution but did not criticise Mr Bush outright.

"It is quite evident that this proposal, which was endorsed by President Bush, is quite different from the position unanimously agreed by all the heads of state and government of the European Union at the March European Council", said the Commission's chief spokesperson.

"We said that the withdrawal could represent a significant step towards the implementation of the Roadmap provided that it takes place in the context of this Roadmap".

EU foreign ministers will discuss the "repercussions" of Mr Sharon's statements at an informal meeting this weekend.

Interview

Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan

Turkish NBA basketball star, Enes Kanter, gave up joining teammates in a London match over fears of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan's reach into the EU.

News in Brief

  1. Study: Tax evasion cost five time as much as EU budget
  2. Dublin: Bilateral Brexit deal may be needed with UK
  3. Bulgaria plans to stop selling EU 'golden passports'
  4. Romanian EU presidency plans March summit with Turkey
  5. EU hits Mastercard with €570m fine
  6. Romanian minister prepares to cancel corruption cases
  7. Sefcovic: no gas supply problems this winter
  8. Report: Commission warning on passport-sale schemes

Analysis

China's 2019 growth outlook

As China's growth seems to be slowing, some observers see the country amid what the New York Times called a "severe downturn". As they mistake China's secular deceleration with cyclical fluctuations, they miss the rapid increase in Chinese living standards.

Opinion

The Azov crisis will backfire

Vladimir Putin's nightmare of Petro Poroshenko's re-election will be even certain as Ukrainians rally around the flag. Next March's election is not just to elect a new president but also a commander-in-chief to deal with five more years of Putin.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. Tajani wants second term as EU parliament president
  2. EU commissioner floats idea for European space force
  3. France and Germany hope to revive EU with Aachen treaty
  4. May pushes defeated Brexit deal, offers no Plan B
  5. European Parliament targets 'fake' political groups
  6. What is fate of non-euro EU states after Brexit?
  7. Turkish NBA star takes on Erdogan
  8. 'Meme ban' still on table in EU copyright bill, says MEP

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us