Fifty former European foreign ministers and leaders have strongly lambasted as akin to “apartheid’ the so-called “deal of the century” plan recently proposed by US President Donald Trump.
In a strong-worded letter published by the Guardian on Thursday, the European figures – including former premiers and senior ministers – urged action to oppose the plan, which is titled “Peace to Prosperity” and commonly known as Trump’s “deal of the century.”
“The plan contradicts internationally agreed parameters for the Middle East peace process, relevant UN resolutions, including Security Council resolution 2334, and the most fundamental principles of international law,” the letter said, stressing that the details of the scheme was similar to “apartheid.”
Trump infuriated Palestinians last month when he unveiled his much-delayed “deal of the century” during an event at the White House alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Palestinian groups have unanimously rejected Trump’s one-sided plan, which largely meets Israel’s demands in the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians while envisioning a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders.
The so-called “peace” plan enshrines Jerusalem as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank and the Jordan Valley. The plan also denies the right of return for Palestinian refugees to their homeland, among other controversial terms.
“The map featured in the plan proposes Palestinian enclaves under permanent Israeli military control, which evoke chilling associations with South Africa’s Bantustans,” the letter further stated.
In conclusion, the signatories urged Europe to reject the US plan to pave the way for negotiations and take urgent and effective steps to eliminate the threat of annexation of Palestinian territories by the Israeli regime.
They also said that considering the urgency of the situation they called to action from “the international community, particularly the European Union”, in a bid to “preserve the dignity and rights of the Palestinians.”
Trump’s plan has triggered waves of protest rallies both across the Palestinian occupied territories and around the globe.
The Palestinian Authority, led by President Mahmoud Abbas, wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. The continued expansion of Israeli settlements is one of the major obstacles to the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
Abbas has already severed ties between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli regime as well as the US in reaction to Trump’s highly-provocative scheme.
Apart from the Palestinian leaders, many other international blocs and organizations, including the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and the African Union, have rejected Trump’s plan.
The signatories of the joint letter are as follows:
Douglas Alexander Former minister of state for Europe and secretary of state for international development, United Kingdom
Ben Bradshaw Former minister of state for the Middle East, United Kingdom
Gro Harlem Brundtland Former prime minister, Norway
John Bruton Former prime minister, Ireland
Micheline Calmy-Rey Former foreign minister and president, Switzerland
Ingvar Carlsson Former prime minister, Sweden
Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz Former foreign minister and prime minister, Poland
Daniel Cohn-Bendit Former co-president of the Greens-European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament, Germany
Joe Costello Former minister of state for trade and development and chair of the European affairs committee, Ireland
Willy Claes Former foreign minister and Nato secretary general, Belgium
Massimo d’Alema Former foreign minister and prime minister, Italy
Teresa Patrício de Gouveia Former foreign minister, Portugal
Dominique de Villepin Former foreign minister and prime minister, France
Ruth Dreifuss Former foreign minister and president, Switzerland
Alan Duncan Former minister of state for Europe and the Americas, and minister of state for international development, United Kingdom
Espen Barth Eide Former foreign minister, Norway
Jan Eliasson Former foreign minister and UN general assembly president, Sweden
Uffe Ellemann-Jensen Former foreign minister and president of the European Liberals, Denmark
Benita Ferrero-Waldner Former foreign minister and European commissioner for external relations, Austria
Sigmar Gabriel Former foreign minister and vice-chancellor, Germany
Peter Hain Former minister of state for the Middle East, United Kingdom
Lena Hjelm-Wallén Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Sweden
Trinidad Jiménez Former foreign minister, Spain
Tom Kitt Former minister of state for overseas development and human rights, Ireland
Bert Koenders Former foreign minister, the Netherlands
Martin Liedegaard Former foreign minister, Denmark
Mogens Lykketoft Former foreign minister and UN general assembly president, Denmark
Sven Mikser Former foreign minister, Estonia
Per Stig Møller Former foreign minister, Denmark
Holger K Nielsen Former foreign minister, Denmark
Andrzej Olechowski Former foreign minister, Poland
Marc Otte Former EU special representative to the Middle East peace process, Belgium
Chris Patten Former vice-president of the European commission, United Kingdom
Hans-Gert Pöttering Former president of the European parliament, Germany
Jacques Poos Former foreign minister, Luxembourg
Vesna Pusić Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Croatia
Mary Robinson Former president and United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Ireland
Jacques Santer Former prime minister and president of the European commission, Luxembourg
Karel Schwarzenberg Former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, Czech Republic
Robert Serry Former UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, the Netherlands
Javier Solana Former foreign minister, Nato secretary-general and EU high representative for common foreign and security policy, Spain
Michael Spindelegger Former foreign minister and vice-chancellor, Austria
Jack Straw Former foreign secretary, United Kingdom
Gareth Thomas Former minister of state for international development, United Kingdom
Erkki Tuomioja Former foreign minister, Finland
Ivo Vajgl Former foreign minister, Slovenia
Jozias van Aartsen Former foreign minister, the Netherlands
Frank Vandenbroucke Former foreign minister, Belgium
Hubert Védrine Former foreign minister, France
Sayeeda Warsi Former cabinet minister and Foreign Office minister for the United Nations, human rights and the ICC, United Kingdom