BRUSSELS -The price of failure at the Annapolis conference in November could be greater than that of the Camp David conference in 2000, the EU's special representative to the Middle East Marc Otte told Israeli reporters in Brussels on Monday.
The representative told reporters that the Mideast conflict is of great importance to Europe, and added that the American strategy has not worked in Iraq, or the rest of the Middle East and defined the situation in the region as a wake-up call, saying failure was not an option this time.
Otte said he expected the upcoming conference to be a starting point if Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas agree on how to deal with the core issues before the summit.
'Both Israeli and Palestinian leaderships are weak'Otte told the reporters that if Israel were to wait any longer it would be dealing with Hamas as its partner for peace rather than Abbas, and added that Israel's lack of support of the Palestinian president in the past has contributed to the current situation in Gaza.
Saying that both Israel and Palestinian leaderships were weak, Otte expressed uncertainty regarding the two leaders' ability to bring about a solution to the conflict.
Otte added that it would be impossible to reach peace with only part of the Palestinian population and that Hamas would have to be included in the solution.
Hamas must decide whether it wants to represent the Palestinians or be a puppet in the hands of other regimes, Otte said, adding that although this is currently the Palestinian's problem, it could become the world's problem in the future.
When asked about the Israeli air strike in Syria, the representative said the European Union did not respond because it did not know what happened and that as long as no explanations were provided, he preferred not to comment on the matter.
The EU's only comment, he said, is that regional leaders should not be playing dangerous games, and no further complications were needed in the area.