Karel Schwarzenberg to head EU mission to Middle East

02-01-2009

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is to head an EU mission to the Middle East on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry has confirmed. Its task is to work towards a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where Israeli air strikes have killed close to 400 people in an unprecedented offensive against Hamas radicals. Mr. Schwarzenberg has been consulting the matter both with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and EU foreign ministers. The mission is expected to include EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the French and Swedish foreign ministers. The delegation will first visit Egypt, then move on to Israel and Palestine. Jordan is to be the last stop on the mission’s journey on Tuesday.