Israel-Palestine deal remains EU’s ‘top priority’

President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas (L) with Federica Mogherini [European Commission]

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini yesterday (27 March) reiterated the EU’s commitment to a two-state solution and its opposition to Israel’s settlements in Palestine. EURACTIV Spain reports.

“We remain committed to a negotiated two-state solution that remains for us the only viable way to end the conflict and all claims,” Mogherini said after a meeting with President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Mogherini explained that EU policy has not changed and that Brussels recognises changes to the pre-1967 borders “only when agreed by the two parties”, adding that Jerusalem is still earmarked as the future capital of both states.

“We support Palestinian presence in East Jerusalem, both in political and financial terms,” the European Commission vice-president said, insisting that the current situation requires “strong coordination and unity” from both parties, the region and the international community.

Mogherini also reconfirmed the bloc’s “strong opposition” to Israeli settlement policy and demolitions of Palestinian buildings.

New Israeli settlements 'seriously undermine' peace, EU says

The European Union Tuesday (24 January) warned that Israel’s announcements that it will build thousands of new settler homes in occupied Palestinian territory “further seriously undermine” prospects for a two-state solution.

“The European Union considers settlements to be illegal under international law and this also has not changed in our policy,” she warned.

The EU High Representative voiced her satisfaction with the new US administration’s tack on Middle East policy so far and insisted that peace remains a “top priority” for Brussels.

She also thanked Abbas’ “leadership and commitment to non-violence” as well as his efforts in fostering peace and cooperation in the region.

“This is a challenging task, especially with the deteriorating political and economic situation. I reassured him and his entire delegation of the fact that the European Union is and will continue to be at his side, in trying to improve day-by-day the living conditions and the perspectives of his people,” she added, ahead of a meeting of the Arab League in Jordan today (28 March).

Abbas insisted that the only way forward is the creation of a two-state set-up along the 1967 borders and that settlement building must stop.

The president of the PNA also revealed he would be willing to hold negotiations with new US President Donald Trump.

“I have explained to Mr Trump that we are ready for a peace agreement and we are going to meet in Washington, after accepting his invitation,” Abbas said. He added that the meeting with Mogherini was intended to “find the best way towards an equitable, comprehensive and permanent solution, under Trump’s leadership”.

France and Germany frown at Trump’s Middle East policy

France and Germany consider the US position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confusing and risking ending the prospect of a two-state solution and fuel conflict in the region, the two leading EU countries said yesterday (16 February).

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