Itongadol.- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to a diplomatic process with the Palestinians, and it is the Palestinians who abandoned US-led negotiations a year and a half ago, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told the EU\’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday.
According to Hotovely’s office, the newly appointed deputy foreign minister told Mogherini that Israel\’s message to the Palestinians is that in order for a diplomatic process to take place they need to return to the negotiating table and not take unilateral steps against Israel in the international arena. .
Referring to the Jerusalem terror attack earlier in the day in which two Border Police officers were hurt by a Palestinian terrorists who tried to run them down, Hotovely said that Europe should strongly condemn terrorism, as well as back Israel’s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.
Hotovely welcomed Mogherini\’s comment that she was interested in coming now after the establishment of the new Israeli government to listen to both sides, saying that her visit had a “great deal of importance.”
Mogherini is to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day, as well as with Opposition head Isaac Herzog and President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday. She will also be meeting the Palestinian leadership.
On Monday Mogherini said that there was “political meaning” in her coming to Jerusalem so soon after the formation of Netanyahu’s new government, and that the message is that the EU “is ready and willing to play a major role in relaunching the peace process on the basis of the two state solution.”
She said that that her visit would also be an opportunity to listen to the perspectives of the sides, gauge their intentions and “see how to overcome the status quo.”