The FINANCIAL — Brussels, 11 July 2011 — Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, will travel to Washington for the Middle East Quartet Ministerial Meeting on 11 July.
While in Washington, the High Representative will also have several bilateral meetings and will hold a speech at the Brookings Institution on Tuesday.
Catherine Ashton said ahead of the meeting of the Middle East Quartet: "I took the initiative to propose a Quartet meeting in July as the best way to achieve progress. The changes in the surrounding neighbourhood, the speech of President Obama in May, the moves towards Palestinian reconciliation and the approaching UN General Assembly bring a renewed focus on the possibility of talks and a negotiated solution. I do not underestimate the challenge, but my objective for Monday's meeting of the Quartet is to try and adopt a statement that will help the Israelis and Palestinians make progress and allow for a return to the negotiating table as soon as possible."
The Quartet meeting will be chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Quartet Envoy Tony Blair will also participate.
The High Representative will also hold several bilateral meetings in Washington, among them with State Secretary Clinton and National Security Advisor Tom Donilon. On Tuesday she will hold a speech at the Brookings Institution on "The EU Response to the Arab Spring".