EU warns viability of Palestine is being ‘constantly eroded’
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EU warns viability of Palestine is being ‘constantly eroded’

In Saudi Arabia, foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says Europeans and Arabs share 'particular interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem'

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, left, greets Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday to debate ways to revive Middle East peace efforts and discuss the crisis in Venezuela. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, left, greets Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the Europa building in Brussels on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday to debate ways to revive Middle East peace efforts and discuss the crisis in Venezuela. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

The prospects for the creation of a Palestinian state are “being constantly eroded,” the European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini warned on Sunday, vowing that the EU would never cease its support for a two-state solution that would see East Jerusalem became the capital of Palestine.

At the Arab League’s annual summit in Dahran, Saudi Arabia, she also vowed to work toward “preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem.”

“The situation on the ground is getting worse and worse. Tensions are high on the border between Israel and Gaza,” Mogherini said. “The viability of a State of Palestine — including Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem — is being constantly eroded.”

Together with its partners in the so-called Middle East Quartet — the United Nations, the United States and Russia — the EU will never “never stop working for a negotiated two-state solution,” she went on.

“As Europeans and Arabs we share in particular an interest in preserving the unique status of our common Holy City, Jerusalem. And you know, you can always count on us Europeans to reiterate our belief that the only viable solution is the two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine,” she said.

The EU, and so far all of its 26 member states, have rejected the US administration’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Opening the Arab League summit Sunday, Saudi King Salman reiterated his country’s rejection of the American decision, which includes moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories,” he said.

The Arab League, according to Mogherini, has a “unique role to play” in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “The Arab Peace Initiative is still, in our eyes, the essential building block towards peace,” she said.

“Your role is essential. And we, Europeans, have put on the table all our assistance support – first and foremost we are the largest donor to Palestine and to the UNRWA, and the main trade partner for Israel.”

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