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Time is running out for a two-state solution

European Parliament debates Middle East peace process.

Alyn Smith MEP, Member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has called on the High Representative Federica Mogherini and the EU to relaunch and play a part in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

During a debate on the EU's role in the Middle East peace process in Strasbourg, Alyn reiterated the urgency for a comprehensive settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Following the debate Alyn said:

“The EU must fulfill its responsibilities and take a bold and comprehensive peace initiative as an impartial player to counter-balance American leadership if any progress is to be achieved during the sitting of this parliament.

“If we are truly committed to a two-state solution, with an independent and contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security with Israel, the EU must be ready to play its part in the peace process, aid and facilitate the talks.

“The situation on the ground is not getting any better. There is an increasing number of reports of Palestinian’s rights being violated. Over 5,500 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons including 160 children.

“The Israeli Government’s policy of legalising outposts and expanding settlements activities is not a secret and creates further tensions among the Palestinians and settlers in the Occupied Territories.

“Both sates have a right to exist, side by side in peace and stability. This should be our starting point for any future negotiations. In the meantime, it’s up to the EU and Member States not to recognise assist or aid any illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestine.

“Federica Mogherini announced recently that the EU was moving forward on the issue of labeling products from Israeli settlements. We welcome this commitment but call for an urgent application of the proposed guidelines. This is a long-awaited step in the right direction.

“So far, the Israeli Government’s actions demonstrate a total disregard for the international law and it’s about time the international community woke up to that sad reality and, when necessary, expressed disagreement with any actions, on both sides, which could be in breach of international law.”

Alyn’s speech on the MEPP can be accessed here: