Top EU diplomat: Trump Mideast plan unlikely to succeed

The European Union’s foreign policy chief says he does not think that US President Donald Trump’s initiative for resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict stands the chance to succeed.

Josep Borrell made the remarks after meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman on Sunday, the EU reported on its website. The European top diplomat was on a short tour of the region, expected to take him to Tehran next.

“The experience over the past 50 years has shown that without agreement among all sides, no peace plan has the chance to succeed,” he said amid uniform Palestinian rejection of the scheme.

Trump had announced the scheme, which he has controversially named as the “deal of the century”, years ago but withheld its details.

He unveiled the scheme’s outlines on Tuesday, saying it features recognition of the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” — although Palestinians want the city’s eastern part as the capital of their future state.

Trump also said that under the plan, Israel would be annexing the settlements that it has been building in the West Bank since occupying the Palestinian territory in 1967.

This is while all previous foreign-mediated agreements between the Palestinians and Israelis as well as repeated United Nations resolutions have mandated Tel Aviv to withdraw behind the 1967 borders.

Palestinians, who had already spurned the plot, repeated their opposition to it soon after Trump’s announcement.

On Saturday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas cut relations with Washington and Tel Aviv in response to Trump’s announcement, saying his decision followed US and Israeli “disavowal of signed agreements and international legitimacy.”

Borrell said, “The US plan challenges many of the internationally-agreed parameters: the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties.”

“To find a sustainable way forward, both parties need to come back to the table,” he added.

The European official also met with King Abdullah II, who reaffirmed Jordan’s “firm stance” towards the Palestinian cause, Jordan’s official news agency Petra reported.

A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on February 2, 2020 shows Jordanian King Abdullah II (R) meeting with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell in the Jordanian capital Amman. (Via AFP)

Any potential Palestinian state, the monarch added, should be an “independent” one demarcated based on the 1967 borders, with East al-Quds as its capital.

Borrell

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