Israel Pushes Back Against EU on Peace Plan

YERUSHALAYIM -
trump peace plan
Palestinians spray paint to cover a logo of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to protest the peace plan, in Ramallah, Tuesday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a sharp rejoinder to the European Union over its rejection of the U.S. Mideast peace plan on Tuesday.

The EU’s new foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said earlier in the day that the plan deviates from “internationally agreed parameters” and warned that “steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”

“To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties,” Borrell said, noting that the issues of the borders of a Palestinian state and the final status of Yerushalayim, both addressed in the Trump plan, were among those still in dispute.

“The fact that the High Rep of the EU, Josep Borrell, chose to use threatening language towards Israel, so shortly after he assumed office & only hours after his meetings in Iran, is regrettable &, to say the least, odd,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hayat said.

And, adding a threat of his own, said that “pursuing such policies and conduct is the best way to ensure that the EU’s role in any process will be minimized.”

On Tuesday evening, Israel’s Kan broadcaster reported that Borrell was speaking on his own, not on behalf of the EU, because some member states had refused to support a resolution of condemnation. E.U. rules require a unanimous vote of the 27 countries to issue a statement of this kind.

Hungary and the Czech Republic were among the countries blocking the statement, according to Ynet.


Updated Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 2:13 pm add info