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European involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict

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This Chaillot Paper examines European involvement in the Arab-Israeli conflict. It focuses on European Union involvement in the conflict, with special, but not exclusive, attention to EU involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian dimension of the conflict. Three decades on from the landmark 1980 Venice Declaration of the then nine Member States of the European Community, 2010 has seen new setbacks in efforts to resolve the conflict, and negative trends that increasingly fuel doubts about the very possibility of a two-state solution. This contrasts sharply against the optimistic objectives of the latest US peace initiative and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s plan for a Palestinian state, both of which envisage 2011 as a key year for moving towards a two-state solution. These contrasts invite far-reaching, honest and critical reflection on where European involvement in the conflict has left the EU and its Member States, and how it has impacted on peace prospects. Drawing on the expertise and distinct approaches of researchers from across Europe, the volume combines discussion of past and present EU policies, basic challenges for the EU, European interests and lessons learned, with elaboration of policy implications and recommendations.