Borrell affirms the European Union´s adherence to the two-state solution and calls for stopping settlement activity

Borrell affirms the European Union´s adherence to the two-state solution and calls for stopping settlement activity

 High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said , "The Union strongly believes in the two-state solution, and that there is no viable alternative to it."

In his speech before the plenary session of the European Parliament on developments in the Middle East, Borrell stressed that the European Union, with all its members, will continue to work with its international partners for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

He added, "The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is grave, and the violence has reached unprecedented levels since 2005 with an appalling number of victims, including children, which cannot continue in this way."

Borrell reaffirmed that settlements are illegal under international law, and their expansion must stop, as well as demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes.

He called on the Israeli government to seriously address the violence of extremist settlers, to hold the perpetrators accountable, and to make its military operations proportionate and in accordance with international humanitarian law.

Borrell stressed the need for the international community to work to help find renewed prospects for peace, and said: "We need renewed international efforts to help both Israelis and Palestinians consider their options."

In this regard, Borrell touched on his meeting on February 13 with the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abuul Gheit, and the agreement with them to work towards a viable solution , in order to revive the Arab Peace Initiative and build on it, in addition to making a European contribution to peace.

Regarding Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen´s concern about the European Parliament´s interference in Israel´s internal affairs: Borrell said: "This parliament is free to discuss whatever it deems important. It is natural for parliamentarians to be concerned about the escalating spiral of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories."

He added, "The European Union is engaged in the search for peace in the Middle East, and the peace process in the Middle East is a matter of concern to us."

Borrell addressed the European Parliament, saying: "I hope that the discussion will be good in order to tell the Israeli Foreign Minister that Parliament is ready to discuss what is happening in the Middle East, and how we can contribute to the peace process, and this does not mean at all an anti-Israel position."

He added, "We are closely watching what is happening in Israel, and if we have concerns, we will not hesitate to express and convey them, as we do in any part of the world."

He continued, "With full respect for the internal political dynamics with Israel, this room is fully empowered to discuss those dynamics and understand what is happening there, in terms of our perception of values ​​and interests in the region - there is nothing strange." about that, and this cannot be seen as interference.”

He said: "Everyone agrees that the European Union must do everything in its power to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, and to reach peace between Israel and Palestine."