EU criticizes US plan on Palestine

BRUSSELS, The European Union (EU) Tuesday criticized the US plan on the Middle East peace process as not being in line with international parameters and expressed concern about Israeli intention to expand its annexation of Arab lands.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell in a statement said the EU “is fully committed to the transatlantic partnership and values all efforts to help find a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” He recalled that the 27-member European bloc is committed to a negotiated two-State solution, based on 1967 lines, with equivalent land swaps, as may be agreed between the parties, with Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.

“The US initiative, as presented on 28 January, departs from these internationally agreed parameters,” stressed the EU statement.

“To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties. This includes notably the issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question,” he noted.

The EU called on the Palestinians and Israelis to re-engage and to refrain from any unilateral actions contrary to international law that could exacerbate tensions.

“We are especially concerned by statements on the prospect of annexation of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967,” said Borrell.

“Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” he noted.

The EU will continue to support all efforts aimed at reviving a political process in line with international law, which ensures equal rights and which is acceptable to both parties. The EU will engage with both parties, with actors in the international partners, he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency