The foreign ministers of the European Union’s 28 member states have issued a joint declaration backing the recently launched French-led Israeli-Palestinian peace initiative.
“The Council welcomes the Joint Communiqué on the Middle East peace initiative adopted at the Ministerial meeting in Paris on 3 June 2016,” the ministers said after a meeting in Brussels, adding, “The Council reiterates its support for a just, sustainable, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and peace and stability in the region.”
Additionally, the EU Foreign Affairs Council said it will provide economic incentives to promote an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
“The EU is determined, alongside other international and regional partners, to bring a concrete and substantial contribution to a global set of incentives for the parties to make peace with a view to an international conference planned to be held before the end of the year,” said the ministers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed the French peace initiative, saying that he prefers direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
“Such initiatives only remote the peace process further, allowing the Palestinians to avoid direct negotiations,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said following the EU statement.