Josep Borrell appears at a hearing before his appointment as EU foreign policy chief, at the European Parliament in Brussels, October 7, 2019. (European Parliament/Creative Commons)

EU Calls on Trump to Join Peace Effort Based on ‘Internationally Agreed Parameters’

European Union foreign ministers on Monday flat-out rejected the Trump Administration’s Middle East peace plan but urged Washington to join a broad effort to jump-start Israeli-Palestinian negotiations based on “internationally recognized parameters.” US President Donald Trump’s proposal, which was unveiled in January, has drawn widespread criticism due to its departure from longstanding norms. In this respect, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, insisted that a solution to the conflict could only be achieved through the application of the two-state paradigm that calls for the creation of a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps. In a video conference call between the European diplomats and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Borrell acknowledged “the merit of the US plan because it has created a certain momentum where there was nothing.” He nevertheless qualified that Brussels had “made clear that it is important to encourage the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a credible and meaningful political process. For us, there is no other way than to resume talks.” It comes amid growing pressure on both the Trump Administration and the Israeli government to put the brakes on the initiative. On Monday, reports surfaced that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was seeking to end his coalition deal with Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party and could use divisions in the cabinet over annexation as the impetus to bring down the government and initiate a fourth election in Israel since April 2019. Polls continue to show Netanyahu winning a potential national vote in a landslide and easily forming a right-wing/ultra-Orthodox governing coalition.

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