EU aims to expand Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking role

EU’s foreign policy chief wants to play a central role as a peace-maker between Palestine and Israel

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini announced on Monday after her meeting with EU diplomats in Brussels that the EU wants to play a more active role as a mediator between Palestine and Israel after United States peace efforts failed last year.

Following her meeting with foreign ministers regarding the “naval mission” where she also mentioned issues in the Middle East, Mogherini implied that there is a “political meaning” behind her early visit to Brussels.

Earlier on Monday, EU foreign and defence ministers agreed to form a naval force to destroy boats used by human smugglers carrying migrants into Europe through the Mediterranean.

The 41-year-old former Italian foreign minister is currently one of EU’s most talked about diplomat after she stepped forward with her views over the Mediterranean crisis and is now trying to tackle decades of hard conflict in the Middle East.

The “two-state” solution the EU would like to achieve is a proposal for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where, if successful will result in “two-states for two groups of people.”

“The European Union is ready and willing to play a major role in a relaunching of this process on the basis of the two-state solution,” said the foreign policy chief.

Mogherini signalled EU’s interest in being a mediator last week Wednesday when she said that Israel has not taken responsibility for pursuing a "two-state" solution with Palestine and the EU should lead the process as the United States has not dealt with it well.

EU diplomats believe Mogherini can play the role of a peacemaker after the United States failed to guide the peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians after it collapsed in April last year, when the West Bank’s Fatah and Gaza’s Hamas Palestinian authorities declared a unity government in response to continued illegal settlement building by Israel in the areas it occupies.

A bloody onslaught was launched on Gaza by Israel in 2014 a fews months after the unity government was formed, resulting in the deaths of around 2,200 Palestinians - at least 66 percent of whom were civilians. Meanwhile, 72 Israelis were also killed, mainly soldiers.

Israel is currently being criticised by European states due to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continuing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, despite the fact that the Palestine is recognised as a state by many nations around the world with the most recent being the Vatican.

Mogherini is expected to meet with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday and Thursday.

Although the foreign policy chief has been criticised by Israel for her previous contacts with Palestinian leaders, she said that she would like to listen to both parties.

TRTWorld and agencies