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EU says continues Mideast peace part in spite of Israel move

BRUSSELS EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday and the European Union said it would continue its role in Middle East peace diplomacy in spite of Israel saying it was suspending make contact with.

Asked about Israel’s move on Sunday to suspend contact with the EU over the bloc’s reinforcement of labeling guidelines on imports from Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a European Commission spokeswoman said Mogherini met Netanyahu in Paris on the sidelines of the global climate conference.

“EU-Israel relations are very good, broad and deep and this will continue,” the spokeswoman told a news briefing in Brussels, playing down the labeling decision as merely the implementation of an current policy currently being enforced by some EU states.

“When it comes to the Middle East peace process, the EU continues and will continue to perform on this in the Quartet with our partners with both parties because of course peace in the Middle East is of interest to the entire international community,” the spokesman added.

The European Union is one of the 4 members of the Quartet of peace brokers, along with the United Nations, United States and Russia.

(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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