EU’s Ashton in Cairo for talks on Mideast peace

Egypt's Foreign Minister has told European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that Arabs are supporting Palestinian plans for statehood recognition at the United Nations because negotiations have not resulted in peace.

The statehood bid, planned for later this month, comes after peace talks stalled over Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Amr Rushdi said Monday that Ashton told Egypt's Foreign Minister, Mohammed Amr, that the EU is still studying its position.

Israel and the United States oppose the Palestinian UN initiative, saying a state must be established through negotiations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is in Cairo, where he is also scheduled to meet Ashton.

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