Arab, European states call Israel and Palestine to restart talks

Foreign ministers from France, Egypt, Germany and Jordan back beginning of talks on the basis of two-state solution.

The foreign ministers of Egypt, France and Jordan speak at a news conference in Amman [Foreign Ministry of Egypt/Twitter]

Foreign ministers from four Arab and European countries meeting in Jordan have said a two-state solution is the only path to end the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling for a resumption of negotiations between the two sides.

The top diplomats from France, Egypt and Jordan held a meeting on Thursday in Amman. Germany’s Heiko Maas joined online as he was forced to go into quarantine a day earlier due to a coronavirus scare.

There will be “no comprehensive and lasting peace without solving the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution”, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi told reporters following the meeting.

“There is no other solution,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed. The Palestinians and the Israelis need to prove their commitment to dialogue “and we are ready to support this process”, he added.

Arab-Israel deals praised

The four ministers also praised recent deals establishing ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

Maas welcomed the agreements, which “show that peace in the region is possible”. Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry also said the deals are an “important development that would lead to more support and interaction in order to reach a comprehensive peace”.

Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979. Jordan followed in 1994. Last week, the UAE and Bahrain signed US-brokered treaties with Israel, prompting condemnation by the Palestinians.

Palestinians see the two accords as a betrayal that further weakens a long-standing pan-Arab position calling for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory and acceptance of Palestinian statehood in return for establishing relations with Arab countries.

On Tuesday, Palestine quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreements with Israel.

Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn member nations breaking ranks and signing formal deals with Israel.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies