Palestine

European Union rejects US ‘Deal of Century” for Mideast peace process

European Union foreign ministers on Monday opposed the so-called Deal of Century, which was issued by the United States, as the basis for any international process.

Speaking after chairing video talks between the ministers and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the Europeans “recognize the merit of the U.S. plan because it has created a certain momentum where there was nothing,” according to Associated Press.

“We made clear that it is important to encourage the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a credible and meaningful political process,” Borrell said. “For us, there is no other way than to resume talks.” But he insisted that any new initiative must respect the “internationally agreed parameters.”

US President Donald Trump’s proposal, which was unveiled in January, falls far short of minimal Palestinian demands and would leave sizable chunks of the occupied West Bank in Israeli hands.

Trump’s plan was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed it as “nonsense.” Persian Gulf Arab states also rejected the White House plan as “biased.” While Israeli officials were present for its unveiling, no Palestinian representatives attended.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also insisted on the need “to revive the peace process in the region and find a way for both sides to speak and negotiate with each other.”

“A multilateral format could certainly be the right framework for this, and we are prepared to support any initiative in this direction — and I would be glad if our colleague from Washington also were prepared to do this,” Maas said. No details of what the new effort might look like were provided.

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