New EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini will visit Israel, Gaza and the West Bank this week to help revive the stalled Middle East peace process, her office said Monday.
The trip will last three days beginning Friday, taking in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Gaza and Ramallah.
“The visit is a signal of the priority given to the region by the EU and (Mogherini’s wish) to play a role in the stabilisation, reconstruction and revival of the peace process,” a spokesperson said.
The Middle East peace process, which has stalled amid mutual recriminations, is a “key issue” for the European Union, the spokesperson said.
“What is happening, in particular Gaza and the tension on Jerusalem is of importance to the entire region.”
The spokesperson said fuller details of the trip would be made available later. Mogherini will visit Poland on Thursday before travelling on.
The EU has tried to play the role of honest broker in peace efforts, with Mogherini’s predecessor Catherine Ashton being very active, but to no avail as Israel and the Palestinian authorities blame each for the breakdown in the talks.
A flashpoint has been Israeli plans to build more settler homes in the occupied West Bank, a move condemned by the EU as undermining efforts to bring about a two-state solution.