EU foreign ministers urge US to join Middle East peace effort

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European Union foreign ministers on Monday urged the United States to join a new effort to breathe life into long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but they rejected President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan as the basis for any international process, AP reports.Trump’s proposal, which was unveiled in February, would foresee the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but it falls far short of minimal Palestinian demands and would leave sizable chunks of the occupied West Bank in Israeli hands.Speaking after chairing video talks between the ministers and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the Europeans “recognize the merit of the U.S. plan because it has created a certain momentum where there was nothing.”German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also insisted on the need “to revive the peace process in the region and find a way for both sides to speak and negotiate with each other.”“A multilateral format could certainly be the right framework for this, and we are prepared to support any initiative in this direction — and I would be glad if our colleague from Washington also were prepared to do this,” Maas said. No details of what the new effort might look like were provided.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that he wants to move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, perhaps in early July, and Borrell said the ministers warned Pompeo about “the consequences of a possible annexation for the prospects of a two-state solution but also for regional stability.”

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