World, Americas, Middle East

EU, Russia should counter US peace plan: Palestine

EU should host international conference 'to see how we can open ways to move forward', says Palestine’s UN ambassador

Umar Farooq   | 08.05.2019
EU, Russia should counter US peace plan: Palestine File photo

WASHINGTON

The European Union (EU) and Russia should take action to save a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if the U.S. peace plan does not lead to two independent nations, Palestine’s ambassador to the UN said Tuesday.

Riyad Mansour said he told EU officials that support for a two-state solution is appreciated, but it is “not sufficient -- they have to act on it".

Last month, U.S. President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said Washington's Middle East peace plan, billed 'the Deal of the Century', would be revealed after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

While Kushner provided no details as to what the plan entails, he said "there will be tough compromises for both sides" and that past efforts have not worked, referencing the two-state solution, a long-held framework for a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Foreign ministers of the Arab League have rejected the U.S. plan, saying that without giving the legal rights of the Palestinians, these kinds of plans will never bring comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Mansour said if the U.S. plan does not end with two independent nations -- Palestine and Israel -- then the EU should take action against it to save the two-state framework.

The European Union could call for an international conference on the basis of the global consensus supporting a two-state solution “to see how we can open ways to move forward", Mansour told reporters at the UN.

He also said that European countries – particularly France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium and Luxembourg -- could offer their support by recognizing the state of Palestine.

In the runup to Washington’s peace plan, U.S. President Donald Trump has moved to isolate Palestinians.

Last year, the U.S. cut all its funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides critical aid to Palestinian refugees. It also unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and closed the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Washington office, which served as the de-facto Palestinian embassy in the U.S.

Mansour said Russia could also host an international conference in Moscow, since it is on the UN Security Council and Palestinians are already in talks with Moscow.

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