Europe applauds historic UAE-Israel peace treaty, normalisation of relations

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Brussels, Belgium - EU, Germany, Italy and Belgium release praiseworthy statements about Thursday's agreement.

By Wam

Published: Fri 14 Aug 2020, 11:52 PM

Last updated: Sat 15 Aug 2020, 2:08 AM

The European Union (EU's) executive on Friday welcome the agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalise diplomatic ties, saying it would benefit both countries and help promote stability in the Middle East.
"It is important for both (countries) and for regional stability," a European Commission spokeswoman told a news briefing, according to Reuters.
"Both countries are our partners and of course ... we are committed to a two-state solution and we are of course ready to work on a resumption of the negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians."
Under the accord, which US President Donald Trump helped broker, Israel agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.
European countries added their own endorsements of the ground-breaking peace treaty.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas hailed the treaty as 'historic' and added: "I have just spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on the telephone and offered him my congratulations on this historic step. The normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is an important contribution to achieving peace in the region.
"It is good that the Israeli Government has agreed to suspend its annexation plans."
"We hope that this agreement will be the starting point for further positive developments in the region and that it can also inject fresh impetus into the Middle East peace process. We continue to maintain that only a negotiated two-state solution can bring lasting peace to the Middle East.
"Together with our partners in Europe and the region, we have been working intensively in recent months to prevent an annexation and to support the resumption of direct negotiations. We are also prepared to lend our active support to this process," added the statement.
The German government's spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, likewise expressed hope the treaty would pave the way to renew negotiations over the two-state solution.
Italy also welcomed the announcement of the agreement. ''We hope that this important step will contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East,'' said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in a statement.
''In this framework, the Israeli decision to suspend the annexation of portions of the West Bank is a positive development, which we hope will facilitate the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians aiming at a just, sustainable and lasting two-state solution, which Italy continues to strongly support as the only alternative to ensure peace and prosperity throughout the region,'' it added.
Belgium welcomed the "rapprochement between Israel and the UAE, facilitated by the US, as a step towards peace in the region".
In a statement, Philippe Goffin, the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs and of Defence, said: "The announcement of the suspension of annexation plans is a step in the right direction, but should be converted into a definitive measure."
He added that lasting peace in the region rests on "a 2-state solution based on international law and internationally agreed parameters."

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