Today’s Middle East peace conference in Paris is a chance not to miss, say S&Ds
The S&D Group supports the French initiative to relaunch the Middle East peace process with a high level conference in Paris today. The S&D MEPs will continue to cooperate with civil society both in Israel and Palestine to strengthen popular support for lasting peace.
S&D Group vice-president Victor Bostinaru said:
“We remain convinced that lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through a negotiated two-state solution between both sides with the support of the international community. However, due to alarming developments on the ground, in particular in Area C in the West Bank, we have seen the room for this two-state solution rapidly shrinking over the past years. Therefore, the so-called French initiative and today’s Paris conference – together with the Quartet report to be published soon – is an opportunity that is not be missed. In a period of electoral turbulences in the United States in particular, Europe has a special responsibility to act in order to keep the hope for peace in the Middle East alive.
“In this spirit, we express our full support for the French government’s initiative and the Paris conference, which we hope can develop into a European peace project, as well as for the investment by EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in revitalising the Quartet.
“Nevertheless, we cannot ignore that any peace agreement can only be successful if it is approved and supported by the populations on both sides. Therefore, the S&D Group continues its cooperation with local NGOs bringing together Israelis and Palestinians – such as EcoPeace Middle East or The Parents Circle-Families Forum, just to name two of them – with the aim of supporting concrete initiatives and projects which create people-to-people contacts and dialogue between both sides.”
S&D Euro-Mediterranean coordinator Gilles Pargneaux added:
“Never before has a lasting solution to the Middle East conflict been so needed. The fight against Da’esh is a common denominator to all the countries in the region. Today, the peace between Israel and Palestine is a matter of life and death for Europe and the Arab world.
“Direct talks have never delivered peace. It’s time to think out of the box, to promote reconciliation between the two peoples of Israel and Palestine, to endorse the Arab Peace Initiative, and to overcome the psychological barrier of a 70 year-old conflict. If we don’t do so, we’ll fail, once again. The EU must stand ready to back the French efforts to re-launch the peace process and to turn it to an EU initiative eventually.”
Foto: EPA/ALAA BADARNEH