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Arab, European ministers call on Palestine, Israel to resume peace talks

A group of protesters gather in front of the Representative Office of Germany to stage a protest demanding release of Palestinian Coordinator of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) Mahmoud Nawajaa, detained in Israel, in Ramallah, West Bank on August 11, 2020.( İssam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency )

The foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, France and Germany called on Thursday for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and restarting peace negotiations.

This came at a press conference following a meeting held by the foreign ministers and the European Union (EU)’s representative to discuss the Middle East peace process, aired on national television.

The meeting stressed the need to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to resume negotiations between the two sides.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi expressed his country’s concerns over what he called:

“The stalemate in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”

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In the same context, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry emphasised the importance of reaching a comprehensive peace agreement, considering that the recent normalisation agreements with Israel: “Will contribute to achieving sustainable peace in the region.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Israel to cancel the annexation plan in the West Bank, while highlighting that stability in the region must be achieved by means of the two-state solution.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who participated in the meeting online, conveyed that the recent normalisation agreements with Israel – referring to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – showed that achieving peace in the region is still possible.

On 15 September, the UAE and Bahrain signed two normalisation agreements with Israel at the White House under US auspices, ignoring the wave of popular anger and the Palestinian indignation of this move.

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Since April 2014, negotiations between the two sides have stalled due to Tel Aviv’s refusal to stop building settlements and release Palestinian detainees, in addition to disavowing the two-state solution.

The US-sponsored deal of the century, which was issued last January, included a plan to annex around 30 per cent of the land in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley under “full Israeli sovereignty”, instead of its current status as Arab land occupied by Israel since 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was intending to implement the annexation plan in July; however, the plan drew widespread reactions, criticism and warnings about causing instability in the region, forcing him to temporarily postpone it.

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