Israel's indecisiveness toward the European Union is clouding the
future of bilateral relations, the EU commissioner for external relations said
in Jerusalem yesterday.
"EU-Israel relations cannot yet fulfill their potential because the path
ahead is not clear," Benita Ferrero-Waldner said in a speech at the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem. "We strongly sense that Israel has not yet made up its
mind how to work with us - not surprising given the EU's complexity and its
Ferrero-Waldner spent a day in Israel, finishing her visit here yesterday
and is continuing today to Ramallah and Jordan. She will meet with Palestinian
Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
Cooperation on energy and transportation
The commissioner said the EU is interested in deepening its economic ties
with Israel, developing stronger cooperation on energy and transportation issues
and increasing the exchanges between business people, academics, local
authorities, artists and young people.
Ferrero-Waldner staked out an ambiguous position on recognizing a
Palestinian unity government, saying the EU hoped the future Palestinian
government will respond to the principles of peace put forward by President
Abbas and by the Quartet. "We will judge this government by its actions," she
Later in the day, the commissioner told Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni that
the Mecca agreement on the unity government has helped prevent further violence
in the territories.
Livni said Israel doesn't want to see wars either, but that continued
pressure must be exerted on the extremists to advance the diplomatic