The European Union's Middle East Peace Process representative, Miguel Angel Moratinos, tried to boost the forum's spirits yesterday by proclaiming that by 2005 “there will be two states, Israel and Palestine - living in peace and safety.” Moratinos said that the priority at the moments “is to best manage the present situation while trying to speed up the return to normal life for the Palestinians while introducing a new security plan in Israel.” “If we can guarantee security in Israel and give Palestinians back a normal life before the end of the year, we will have achieved the objectives of the first phase in the process,” he said. “Once that is done, we must then push ahead with the creation of a Palestinian state,” Moratinos added. The EU's man in the Middle East also said that, despite the crisis gripping the Israeli government, Sharon will stay on as prime minister and has hinted that he is prepared to accept the North American peace plan. Moratinos said that the European Union is working “night and day” to “change the mentality of Palestinian society” in order to try and bring an end to suicide attacks on Israel, which in turn will bring about an end to occupation and help to convince Israel that peace is a viable long term option which will benefit both sides.