EU responds to Trump’s Middle East peace plan

US President Donald J. Trump (L) and Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu (R) enter the East Room of the White House for the unveiling of Trump's Middle East peace plan, in Washington, DC, USA, 28 January 2020. [Michael Reynolds/EPA/EFE]

The European Union’s top diplomat said Tuesday (28 January) that the bloc remains “firm and united” behind the quest for a negotiated two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

High representative Josep Borrell was speaking after President Donald Trump unveiled a “last opportunity” for the Palestinians to sign up to a plan drawn up by US officials.

“The European Union will study and assess the proposals put forward,” Borrell said.

But he added: “This will be done on the basis of the EU’s established position and its firm and united commitment to a negotiated and viable two-state solution that takes into account the legitimate aspirations of both the Palestinians and the Israelis, respecting all relevant UN resolutions and internationally agreed parameters.”

Borrell acknowledged that: “Today’s initiative by the United States provides an occasion to re-launch the urgently needed efforts towards a negotiated and viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

But he made it clear that European capitals see the need for more inclusive negotiation ahead.

“The EU reaffirms its readiness to work towards the resumption of meaningful negotiations to resolve all permanent status issues and to achieve a just and lasting peace,” he said.

“It urges both sides to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution as the only realistic way to end the conflict.”

The statement did not say whether or not he had consulted some or all EU members before issuing his reaction, but most capitals have previously expressed support for a negotiated solution.

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