Delegation of the European Union to the Lao PDR

Federica Mogherini welcomes Israeli and Palestinian Presidents ahead of Quartet report

23/06/2016 - 11:39

High Representative Federica Mogherini met the Israeli and Palestinian Presidents in Brussels, as the European Union continued its work to support the Middle East peace process.

On Wednesday, Mogherini welcomed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to Brussels and on Thursday, she met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

She told both leaders that the current situation is a dangerous one: "The current situation on the ground is extremely dangerous for all – Palestinians, Israelis, for Europeans, for all the international community.”

“We want to see settlements expansion to stop, we want to see demolitions to stop, we want to see violence and also incitement to violence to stop,” highlighted the High Representative.

The EU, she stressed, seeks to act as a bridge builder between the two sides in seeking to restart the negotiation process towards a two-state solution to the crisis.

“The European Union is working day and night, first of all within the Quartet with our international partners. The Quartet report that will be published soon will indicate, we hope, common ground, the way forward to overcome some of the obstacles that the international community identifies on peace and security,” she told the media during a press point with President Rivlin.

“Second, we are working day and night with the regional players, Egypt, Jordan, our Arab friends to operationalise the Arab Peace Initiative to the benefit of security, because we know very well that the issue is not only between Israel and Palestine, it is also with the rest of the Arab World and this is the opportunity that Israel has in front of itself.

“Thirdly, the European Union is constantly, daily working with both parties with a sense of friendship.”

Following her meeting with President Abbas, Mogherini told the press: “Our main point for discussion was the need to restore the conditions for a peace perspective between Palestine and Israel. We are, in Europe, extremely worried about the deteriorating situation in the Middle East - just yesterday we saw the killing of a young Palestinian boy - and we believe that the deterioration of the situation on the ground is against the interest of the Palestinians, of the Israelis and also of the international community, including the Europeans.”

“We will also encourage different Palestinian factions to bring the ongoing reconciliation efforts to positive results on the basis of democracy and PLO principles and I know that President Abbas is personally very much committed to that. We know this is also important for the two state solution because we need a viable Palestinian entity for that to take place.

Despite growing threats, Mogherini told President Rivlin that the new situation presents Israel with new opportunities.

“For the first time cooperation with some key Arab countries in the field of security is there and it is in the interest of Israel and the Israeli people, first of all their security, to use this window of opportunity before it is too late for the security of Israeli people; and let me say also for the region and Europe as well as part of the region – we share the Mediterranean.

“It is because we know that Israeli people deserve and want to live in peace and security and that peace is the best opportunity for security.”