Israel stresses direct talks as EU ministers endorse French initiative

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The European Union Foreign Ministers Council has adopted a resolution backing the French peace initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“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 in a joint statement issued following their meeting in Brussels on Monday.

“The Council reiterates its support for a just, sustainable and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and peace and stability in the region,” it added.

The statement called on both sides “to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a peaceful solution in order to rebuild mutual trust and create conditions for direct and meaningful negotiations aiming at ending the occupation that began in 1967, and resolving all permanent status issues”.

“The Council also reaffirms the European proposal, as endorsed in the Council Conclusions of December 2013, of an unprecedented package of political, economic and security support to be offered to and developed with both parties in the context of a final status agreement.”

The Council said that it 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”.

Israel has repeatedly rejected the French initiative, but the Palestinian Authority welcomes it.

Source: middleeastmonitor.com

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