EU Wants New Mideast Peace Talks


The European Union is calling for a renewal of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the wake of Israel’s election last week.

The E.U. statement Monday said it would work with the sides “in order to make progress toward a just and lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the most seats in last Tuesday’s election. It is expected to form a new right-wing coalition in the coming weeks dominated by hardliners who oppose Palestinian independence.

During the campaign, Netanyahu talked about annexing Jewish population blocs in Yehudah and Shomron, a step that could kill any chance of a two-state solution.

There have been no substantive peace talks in a decade.

The Trump administration has not said whether it supports a two-state solution. However, there have been media reports in recent days claiming that the U.S. peace plan will not provide for a Palestinian state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is prepared to meet with Netanyahu with no preconditions, PA Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki told the Russian news agency Sputnik.

Regarding the peace plan, Al-Malki said that “we reject any proposal to resolve the conflict which doesn’t include recognition of the independence of a Palestinian state.”

“If Netanyahu is going to annex the West Bank, then the response should not be exclusively Palestinian, but the response should be a collective response from the international community,” Al-Malaki added. “If Netanyahu wants to annex the West Bank, he has to deal with 4.5 million of Palestinians.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday criticized reports about the content of the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, saying the “guessing game” is only harming the efforts.

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