EU Foreign Ministers expressed ‘’deep concern’’ regarding "Israeli settlement activities which threaten the viability of the two-state solution’’, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell (pictured) told reporters after a video conference of the 27 ministers during which they had a discussion with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, writes Yossi Lempkowicz.
They also welcomed the decision by the Palestinian Authority to resume its cooperation and dialogue with Israel as they expressed ‘’the need to need to relaunch Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in order to find a lasting solution to the conflict.’’
‘’We reiterate the EU support for the two-state solution and we discussed how can we contribute to create better conditions for the resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,’’ Borrell said.
The ministers stressed that internal Palestinian reconciliation ‘’is urgently needed’’ as well as ‘’free, fair, inclusive, genuine and democratic elections’’ which Borrell said, ‘’are important for the Palestinian state building and unity.’’
The EU ‘’is ready to support this electoral process if and when a presidential decree is issued with a date for the vote,’’ Borrell said.
German minister warns Israel against ”unilateral actions” affecting Palestinians
Earlier this week, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas alluded indirectly to Israel against taking unilateral steps that could hurt peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Creating facts unilaterally won’t help us in this already difficult situation. But no doors should be slammed shut either in view of developments in the United States,” said Maas, speaking after meeting with Riyad al-Maliki, the Associated Press reported.
German’s top diplomat didn’t specify particular unilateral measures, although his office on Monday criticized Israel’s call for tender for building new homes in Givat Hamatos, a Jerusalem neighborhood, as a “step that sends the wrong signal at the wrong time.”
Maas also said that President-elect Joe Biden agrees with Germany’s position of a two-state solution based on negotiations between the two parties.
Maliki said a Biden presidency represents “a window of opportunity, and we want to take advantage of that window of opportunity in order really just to open a new page.”
According to the Associated Press, he added that “we suffered tremendously, as Palestine, from [U.S. President Donald] Trump’s policies.”