EU Foreign Ministers Defer Response to Trump Peace Plan Until After Israeli Election

The European Union will not pass any official resolutions on U.S. President Donald Trump's peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians until "after Israeli elections," foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said on Monday, after a meeting of the organization's foreign ministers in Brussels. 

"We had an exchange of views about the Middle East peace process following the presentation of the U.S. proposal," Borrell stated. "We briefly discussed how best to relaunch a political process that is acceptable to both parties and how best to defend the internationally agreed parameters, equal rights and international law."

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Borell added that several foreign ministers had requested the issue to be added on the agenda of their March meeting "with a specific discussion and some resolutions."

"We’ll do it. After Israeli elections," Borrell said.

Luxembourg FM Jean Asselborn (L), German FM Heiko Maas (C) and European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell (R) talk during a EU Foreign Ministers meeting, Brussels, February 17, 2020AFP

On Sunday, Haaretz reported that a group of EU member states, led by Luxembourg, was planning to put forward an initiative at Monday's meeting to give joint EU recognition of a Palestinian state in response to the Trump plan. Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn discussed the initiative with the foreign ministers of Ireland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Finland, Sweden, Malta and Slovenia.

The representatives of these countries expressed a clear stance on the subject at Monday's meeting, and there is concern in Israel that some could push for recognition of a Palestinian state on their own, even if the European Union as a whole doesn’t decide to do so.

The Palestinian Authority has rejected the Trump plan out of hand and Borrell has said that the plan throws into question “the 1967 border, as agreed by both parties, with a State of Israel and an independent, viable state of Palestine, living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition.”