A senior EU official said that France and Britain would work together to make 2013 the year of peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, the London-based newspaper, Al-Hayat, reported on Thursday.
The official, according to the newspaper, said the EU would not boycott a Palestinian national unity government including Hamas. He described the EU boycott of the Hamas-led government in 2006 as a mistake that would not be repeated.
Asking not to be identified, the official said that France and Britain were waiting the latest planned American initiative. He said that both countries would support those efforts. Yet, France and Britain, according to him, will propose their own peace initiative if the US efforts failed.
He said that the French-UK peace initiative, which is still being discussed, would be based on re-launching the peace process on new bases and without pre-conditions.
Commenting on this news, the prominent Hamas leader in Gaza, Dr Mahmoud al-Zahar, told MEMO he was doubtful whether the EU plans to achieve peace in the region would realise the aspirations of the Palestinian people.
He denied having any talks with EU officials regarding the peace process or the national unity government.
Al Zahar said, “We will see if that will be achieved on the ground and if they really want it to take place.” He added, “They (the Europeans) often release statements through ‘unidentified’ sources to just to break the deadlock in the process.”