The European Union’s foreign policy chief has warned that the annexation of Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank pursued by the Israeli regime will have “significant consequences” for bilateral ties between the bloc and Tel Aviv.
High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell made the remark in a speech he delivered to the European Parliament on Thursday, stressing that the clear position of the bloc is to “continue supporting a negotiated two-state solution, based on international parameters.”
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing a number of criminal indictments, has repeatedly said that he would commence cabinet-level discussions for annexing more areas in the occupied West Bank on July 1, in accordance with US President Donald Trump’s plan, the so-called deal of the century.
Trump’s scheme, which has already been categorically rejected and condemned by the Palestinians, largely gives in to Israel’s demands while creating a Palestinian state with limited control over its own security and borders, enshrining the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and allowing the regime to annex settlements in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.
In response to Trump’s highly-provocative scheme and Israel’s annexation plans, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas declared the end of all agreements signed with Tel Aviv and Washington on May 19.
“Annexation would inevitably have significant consequences for the close relationship we currently enjoy with Israel,” Borrell said. “I will not prejudge the specific impact of a possible annexation, but let me underline that the EU has its own obligations and responsibility under international and EU law.”
Back in February, a month after Trump officially unveiled his much-condemned scheme, an overwhelming majority of the European Parliament legislators denounced the proposal, saying the contentious plan flies in the face of international law.
In his comments on Thursday, Borrell said he was using all of the EU’s “diplomatic capacities in order to put pressure for that not to happen.”
Borrell added that he had talked with Israel’s alternate premier, Benny Gantz, and foreign minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, about “the gravity of such an announcement.”
The EU’s foreign policy chief, however, admitted that “it is difficult to find unanimity” on the matter, referring to opposition from Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic to Europe’s denunciation of the plan.
However, there is “a strong, very strong majority of countries that continue supporting a negotiated two-state solution based on international parameters and considering that any annexation would be against international law,” he added.
On Thursday, the European Parliament finalized the Open Skies aviation agreement between the bloc and the Tel Aviv regime, but said “the vote today does not prejudge the EU position on future political developments in Israel.”
According to Trump’s scheme, the future Palestinian state will consist of scattered lands linked together via bridges and tunnels. It will also be demilitarized, meaning it will be subject to Israeli control for security.
President Abbas has already said that the scheme “belongs to the dustbin of history.”
Source: Press TV