Libya and Palestine on EU Foreign Affairs Council agenda

EPA-EFE/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (L) is welcomed by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini (R) prior to a meeting at the EU Council in Brussels, Belgium, 22 January 2017.

Libya and restarting of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting


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Speaking at the doorstep of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels on Monday morning, the EUs’ High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said the crisis in Libya and the re-launch of the Middle East peace process are at the center of the meeting’s agenda.

Mogherini reiterated that the EU will continue to support a two-state solution to resolve the 70-year-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite a controversial decision by the Trump administration to recognise an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Clearly, there is a problem with Jerusalem. I would say that this is a very diplomatic euphemism. We, Europeans, along with the Arab world and the UN, continue to believe that a two-state solution is the only pragmatic and realistic solution for Jerusalem…This has to come through direct negotiations,” said Mogherini.

The White House’s decision to break with eight decades of US foreign policy regarding the status of East Jerusalem – which was captured in June 1967 after Israel routed the armies of Egypt, Syria, Jordan in the Six Day War – was met with widespread condemnation by the international community.

The Palestinian authority has insisted that any two-state solution must designate the largely Arab populated East Jerusalem – including the historic Old City – as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Mogherini, who will host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas later today, added that Brussels will continue working with the United Nations, US, EU, and Russia – known as the Middle East Quartet – as well as with Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia to re-start talks.

 

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