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Former European officials urge EU to reject US peace plan

April 15, 2019 2:47 P.M. (Updated: April 17, 2019 11:55 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- About 37 former European officials have called on the European Union to reject the US-proposed peace plan, also known as "Deal of the Century," designed to liquidate the Palestinian rights, on Monday.

The former European officials addressed a letter to EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, urging her to reject United States President Donald Trump’s peace plan and warned of the plan’s implications for regional stability.

The letter, published in the Guardian news outlet, read, “We are convinced that a plan that reduces Palestinian statehood to an entity devoid of sovereignty, territorial contiguity and economic viability would severely compound the failure of previous peace-making efforts, accelerate the demise of the two-state option and fatally damage the cause of a durable peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

The signatories urged the EU to embrace and promote a plan in line with the basic principles of international law as reflected in the agreed EU parameters for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The alternative plan, the letter noted, should be conducive to “the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel on borders based on the pre-1967 lines with mutually agreed, minimal and equal land swaps; with Jerusalem as the capital for both states; with security arrangements that address legitimate concerns and respect the sovereignty of each side and with an agreed, fir solution to the question of Palestinian refugees.”

The letter said, “Unfortunately, the current US administration has departed from longstanding US policy and distanced itself from established international legal norms,” criticizing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which was seen as recognition of “only one side’s claims to Jerusalem.”

Washington was also criticized for demonstrating “a disturbing indifference to Israeli settlement expansion” in the occupied West Bank and cutting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Palestinians, a move the letter said was “gambling with the security and stability of various countries located at Europe’s doorstep.”

The signatories called on European governments to “further commit to scale up efforts to protect the viability of a future two-state outcome” and the EU and all member states to “actively ensure the implementation of relevant UN security council resolutions, including consistent differentiations in accordance with UN security council resolution 2334, between Israel in its recognized and legitimate borders, and its illegal settlements in the occupied territories.”

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