Brussels: European Union foreign ministers will discuss next month whether the 28-nation bloc should modify its Middle East policy amid growing concern that Israeli colony activity and US diplomatic moves are undermining hopes for a two-state solution.
“If we want a two-state solution we need to help and encourage both parties to enter into a serious and credible negotiation, and this is not the case” at the moment, new EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters Monday after chairing talks between the ministers.
Ireland and Luxembourg are among a small group of countries that want the issue put on the agenda. Borrell said the ministers “will deeply discuss the situation in the Middle East” when they meet again in Brussels on January 20.
The EU’s long-held stance is that any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians should be based on the notion of two states within pre-1967 borders with occupied Jerusalem as their shared capital. The bloc also opposes settlement expansion and insists it is illegal under international law.
The US announced a new American doctrine last month that does not consider Israeli colonies a violation of international law. The Trump administration has also recognised occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and recognised Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
Some EU countries are concerned more such US moves might be imminent, Borrell said.
In a letter to Borrell, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said that hopes for a two-state solution are “being dismantled piece by piece, day after day,” and that it is time to consider recognizing Palestine as a state.
“The policy of [colonisation] and demolition risks replacing the two-state solution with a one-state reality, marked by perpetual conflict, occupation and unequal rights,” Asselborn wrote.