The European Union’s top diplomat rejects the annexation clause featured in US President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, which is widely viewed as a scheme aimed at sidestepping international law and legitimizing Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell made the remarks in a statement that he made from Brussels on Tuesday, a day after ending a short tour of the Middle East that had taken him to Jordan and Iran.
“The US initiative, as presented on 28 January, departs from these internationally agreed parameters,” Borrell said of Trump’s proposed plan resolving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
EU governments attach no legal status to the settlements that have been built on the Palestinian territory of the West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights since Israel’s occupation of the lands in 1967, he said, repeating the bloc’s stance on the matter.
Last Tuesday, Trump unveiled the outlines of his so-called ‘deal of the century,’ which envisioned the recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” — although Palestinians want the occupied holy city’s eastern part as the capital of their future state.
Trump also said that under the plan, Israel would be annexing the settlements that the Israeli regime has built in the West Bank since the occupation.
This is while all previous foreign-mediated agreements between the Palestinians and Israelis as well as repeated United Nations’ resolutions have mandated Tel Aviv to withdraw behind the 1967 borders.
Palestinians, who had already spurned the plot, repeated their opposition to it soon after Trump’s announcement.
Borrell further said, “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 the issues of the borders of a Palestinian state and the final status of Jerusalem al-Quds were among those still in dispute.
While in Jordan, the European official also said he did not think that the US initiative stood the chance to succeed.
“The experience over the past 50 years has shown that without agreement among all sides, no peace plan has the chance to succeed,” he said amid uniform Palestinian rejection of the scheme.
Earlier in his career, Trump even formally recognized al-Quds as Israel’s “capital,” and Syria’s Golan Heights as the Israeli regime’s “sovereign territory,” exceeding all his predecessors in terms of pro-Tel Aviv favors.
Source: PressTV – Top EU diplomat: Trump Mideast plan unlikely to succeed