Palestinian workers sort through concrete reinforcement rods
Palestinian workers sort through concrete reinforcement rods in northern Gaza Photo by Getty
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Reuters
Avigdor Lieberman with Catherine Ashton in 2010. Photo by Reuters

Israel is working on a plan to build a power station, desalination plants and infrastructure for water purification in the Gaza Strip, Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Sunday.

"These projects can resolve a real problem of drinking water and electricity and improve the situation," Lieberman said.

After a meeting with European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, Lieberman said the new Israeli policy of increasing the amount of goods that can enter the Gaza Strip "is not enough" and that his government "is looking for serious partners" to improve the economic situation in the coastal territory.

Lieberman told Ashton he hoped members of the European Union would back the Israeli plan.

Ashton said Israel's recent easing of its Gaza blockade was a "step forward" but called on Israel also to allow exports from the Gaza Strip.

Ashton said she supported the U.S. vision of a two-state solution in which "Gaza should take part."

The EU, she said, is "examining the options" in order to help Palestinians in the control of their borders and Israel in security issues, but rejected the idea of sending "forces" to accomplish these aims.