Top EU Diplomat Warns against US Middle East Plan

The European Union has rejected parts of the proposed US plan for the Middle East, saying it broke with internationally agreed parameters, and any Israeli annexation of Palestinian land would be subject to challenge.

President Donald Trump’s plan, announced last week, was welcomed by Israel and rejected outright by the Palestinians.

It would give Israel most of what it has sought during decades of conflict: the US will officially recognize Israel’s illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied territories; Jerusalem will be the undivided capital of Israel; Gaza will have to be demilitarized and there shall be no right of return for Palestinian refugees.

The EU, which often takes time to respond to international developments because of a need for unanimity among its 27 members, had said last week that it needed to study the Trump plan before it would give its verdict.

It made its conclusions public on Tuesday in a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.

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

The US initiative, as presented on 28 January, departs from these internationally agreed parameters, Borrell added.

Steps by Israel to annex Palestinian territory, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged, Borrell said.

Source: Palestine Chronicle