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37 Ex-European FMs, Political Figures Call for Facing ‘Deal of the Century’

37 Ex-European FMs, Political Figures Call for Facing ‘Deal of the Century’

Tuesday, 16 April, 2019 - 11:30
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shaking hands with US President Donald Trump (R) (AFP)
Ramallah- Kifah Zboun
In a letter sent to European Union High Representative Federica Mogherini, senior European political figures and 37 former foreign ministers warned current EU foreign ministers of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” and its implications on the Middle East
stability.

EU must insist on “a Palestinian state alongside Israel on borders based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed, minimal and equal land swaps; with Jerusalem as the capital for both states; with security arrangements that address legitimate concerns and respect the sovereignty of each side and with an agreed, fair solution to the question of Palestine refugees,” the letter said.

They said that the EU should “reject any plan that does not meet this standard,” and even “pursue its own course of action” if necessary.

“It is time for Europe to stand by our principled parameters for peace in Israel-Palestine,” read the letter, calling for a two-state solution in which Israel and Palestinian states live side by side.

The letter, sent to EU and European governments, was signed by 25 former foreign ministers, six former prime ministers, and two former NATO secretary generals.

Its signatories included Jean-Marc Ayrault, Carl Bildt, Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Massimo D’Alema, Guy Verhofstadt, and Dacian Cioloș, former prime ministers of France, Sweden, Poland, Italy, Belgium, and Romania respectively.

“Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding US policy and distanced itself from established international legal norms,” they said in their letter, which was published by the Guardian newspaper and Haaretz.

“It has so far recognized only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and demonstrated a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion. The US has suspended funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) and for other programs benefiting Palestinians.”

“Against this unfortunate absence of a clear-cut commitment to the vision of two states, the Trump administration has declared itself close to finalizing and presenting a new plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Despite uncertainty as to if and when the plan will be released, it is crucial for Europe to be vigilant and act strategically,” according to the letter.

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