Top EU diplomats: Israel annexation plan will have consequences for two-state solution, regional stability

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The European Union (EU)’s foreign ministers have expressed concern over the Israeli regime’s controversial plan to annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, with the top German diplomat emphasizing the need to stop the new land grab plot.

High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell was speaking after a video conference of top EU diplomats and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday.

Borrell said the European foreign ministers “were clear about the consequences of a possible annexation for the prospects of a two-state solution, but also for regional stability.”

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The EU foreign policy chief further highlighted that the 27-nation bloc encourages both Israeli and Palestinian authorities to engage in a credible and meaningful political process, arguing that a plan presented by the US on the decades-long conflict — known as the ‘deal of the century’ — does not “respect internationally-agreed parameters.”

The US plan, he added, “is maybe a starting point for negotiations. Theoretically a negotiation does not finish at the same point it starts, because if not it would not be a negotiation, but an ultimatum.”

Borrell also highlighted German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’ proposal to Pompeo, during the video conference, for the creation of a “multilateral format” for discussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The top German diplomat, Borrell added, was “insisting a lot on the need of preventing annexation, because it would not be without consequences.

Borrell said Pompeo only took note of EU member states’ opinions and “has not accepted or refused anything.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set July 1 for the start of cabinet discussions on extending Israeli “sovereignty” over settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.