George Mitchell gets (very mild) rebuke by EU's Ashton in person in Brussels

George Mitchell is still going through the motions.

On his way back to the USA after a more-or-less useless visit to the region, he met yesterday in Brussels with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s “Foreign Minister” (the exact title is High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy). Ashton is also Vice-President of the European Commission.

Mitchell + Ashton represent half of the Quartet (the USA, EU, Russia + the UN).

After the meeting, Ashton went through the motions of making a statement that was more-or-less identical to one issued in Brussels earlier in the week (see our earlier post on this blog).

What’s new?
Maybe the tone: “urgent progress is needed“…? And, the Palestinian national aspirations were qualified, by Ashton, as “legitimate“…?

The recommendation that the process “should be achieved through negotiations + with the support of the international community”…? The order in the phrasing is apparently a sign of deference to the U.S. backing for Israel’s campaign against any unilateral Palestinian moves towards UN membership for a Palestinian state. [See example of Israeli rhetoric below. Meanwhile, almost every Israeli move, without exception, has been done unilaterally…]

However, the EU seems to be trying to insist that its position be taken more fully into account, (by the lead player, the US), by calling for “the importance of intensified coordination with the Quartet“…?

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