We must bring what is happening in Belarus to the world’s attention and hear from those on the ground. Briefers on #BYHumanRights: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus, Anaïs Marin; Belarusian opposition presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya; Vice-Chairman of the Viasna Human Rights Center, Valiantsin Stefanovic; Legal Expert for the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Volha Siakhovich. The meeting is chaired by Urmas Reinsalu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia. The meeting was initiated by Estonia and co-sponsored by UN Security Council members the United States and United Kingdom, as well as Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

Joint EU stakeout on Middle East Peace Process at the Security Council

Statement on MEPP by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Kingdom of Belgium H.E Mr Philippe Goffin, made on behalf of current and previous Security Council members of the European Union

I would like to make the following statement today on behalf of the four EU Members of the Security Council (Belgium, Estonia, France and Germany), and Poland, as former EU member of the Security Council.

We are fully committed to the transatlantic partnership and value all efforts, including by the United States, to help find a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We have taken note of the proposals presented by the United States with regard to a resolution to this conflict.

In line with the long-standing EU position, we remain committed to a negotiated two-State solution, based on 1967 lines, with equivalent land swaps, as may be agreed between the parties, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous, sovereign and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace, security and mutual recognition.

The US initiative, as presented on 28 January, departs from these internationally agreed parameters.

We reaffirm our readiness to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations between both parties to resolve all final status issues, including issues related to borders, the status of Jerusalem, security and the refugee question, with the aim of building a just and lasting peace.

We call on both sides to exercise restraint and abstain from any unilateral actions contrary to international law and to re-engage in negotiations. We condemn all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as acts of provocation, incitement and destruction. We reaffirm our concern about Israel’s settlement activity in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which is illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace and a two-State solution. We are also deeply concerned about potential steps towards annexation after repeated calls for a possible annexation of areas in the West Bank. The annexation of any part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, constitutes a breach of international law, undermines the viability of the two-State solution and challenges the prospects for just, comprehensive and lasting peace. In line with international law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, we do not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967.

We will continue to engage with the parties and relevant stakeholders to revive a political process in line with international law, which ensures equal rights and which is acceptable to both parties. We also reiterate our commitment to the security of Israel, including with regard to current and emerging threats in the region.