Middle East, Europe

EU accepts Spanish proposal to host Israel-Palestine peace conference

Pedro Sanchez said it is time to find ‘a definitive solution that allows for the coexistence of 2 states’

Alyssa Mcmurtry  | 27.10.2023 - Update : 27.10.2023
EU accepts Spanish proposal to host Israel-Palestine peace conference


Spain’s prime minister said Friday that the Council of the European Union has accepted Spain’s proposal to host an international Israel-Palestine peace conference within the next six months.

Speaking from Brussels, Pedro Sanchez said now is time to offer a “concrete vision” of peace for the region.

“To find a definitive solution that allows for the coexistence of two states – Israel and Palestine – in peace and safety,” he elaborated.

The acting premier said diplomats have already been making contact with countries in the UN to “find political solutions to bring an end to this crisis, which has gone on for too long.” Sanchez also said he shared the idea of a conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call last weekend.

Spain also fought at the European level to gain support for the language of a cease-fire. But Sanchez admitted that the EU consensus watered down the language to calling for “humanitarian corridors and pauses for humanitarian needs.”

“The images we are seeing of the civil population in Gaza, especially children, suffering this siege and this bombardment are absolutely unacceptable, so we need to act urgently,” said Sanchez, while also condemning the Oct. 7 “Hamas terror attack.”

Spanish broadcaster Cadena Ser reports that the peace conference is being planned for Madrid. Through the end of the year, Spain is the rotating president of the Council of the European Union.

Sanchez said the “seriousness” of the crisis unfolding in Israel and Palestine “demands that the international community acts with urgency and courage” to end the violence. He also said Spain will “work tirelessly” for Europe to take a position of leadership.

The hard-fought statement released by the European Council Thursday evening says: “The European Union is ready to contribute to reviving a political process on the basis of the two-state solution, including through the Peace Day Effort, and welcomes diplomatic peace and security initiatives and supports the holding of an international peace conference soon.”

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