Joint stake-out Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway on Middle East

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 joined today by Ireland and Norway as an incoming Members of the Security Council.

We welcome the signing of the agreements between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, and between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel. We recognize the role played by the United States in this regard and believe that these developments represent a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East. We remain convinced that sustainable peace, security and stability in the Middle East cannot be reached without a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in line with international law and relevant UN resolutions. Israel’s commitment to suspend plans to unilaterally annex areas of the occupied Palestinian territory is a positive step and should become permanent

We remain firm in our commitment and support to a negotiated and viable two-state solution built upon the internationally agreed parameters and international law. It is essential that to this end, meaningful negotiations on all final status issues resume between Israelis and Palestinians.

We remain ready to support Israelis and Palestinians in this regard and call on both sides to abstain from any unilateral actions which would be contrary to international law, exacerbate tensions or further undermine trust between the parties. We support all efforts to help resume credible negotiations, including the recent meeting held in Amman on September 24th and the efforts of the Middle East Quartet.

We call for the full respect and implementation of resolution 2334. We reaffirm our deep concern about Israel’s settlement activities, including actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace and to a negotiated two-State solution. The period from March to August 2020 saw the highest average destruction rate in four years. We call on Israel to immediately cease unlawful demolitions and to halt continued settlement expansion, including East Jerusalem, especially in sensitive areas such as Har Homa, Givat Hamatos and E1.

We recall our long-standing position that we will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders, unless agreed by Israelis and Palestinians. The two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital for both States, is the only way to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the region.

We condemn all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror and the firing of rockets into Israel, as well as acts of provocation, incitement and destruction. We also reiterate our commitment to the security of Israel, including with regard to current and emerging threats in the region

We express our deep concern regarding UNRWA’s critical financial situation, and appeal to all States to consider making or increasing their contributions to the Agency.