Part of the reason for seeking an international coalition is the deep internal divisions within the 28-nation EU over Middle East policy that limit its ability to take an active role.
Participants in the Iran nuclear accord were world powers Russia, China, the United States, Britain, France and Germany. EU diplomats see a chance to involve many more countries than those in the Middle East Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia – that has promoted Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking with little practical effect.
Under the EU proposal, the permanent members of the UN Security Council, the larger European economies including Spain and Italy, and Arab nations could play a bigger role.
Mogherini, who met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in May, sees a chance for EU diplomacy in the absence of a new diplomatic initiative from Washington as President Barack Obama approaches the end of his final term.
While the central players in the nuclear negotiations were Iran and the United States, senior EU officials played a central role in mediating negotiations, becoming the unsung heroes of the deal and giving EU diplomats confidence to do more abroad.
“The (Israeli-Palestinian) peace process is at a standstill. The situation is bad. Europe should help both parties to take steps to overcome the impasse,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.
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