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Borrell will ask the EEAS to prepare an options document for the future of Gaza

The extraordinary teleconference of the EU Foreign Ministers on the Middle East.

The EU High Representative informed the ministers about his contacts in Israel, Palestine, Bahrain, Qatar and Jordan. As noted by Mr. Borel after the teleconference, there are two main takeaways from his visit to the region: “a sense of absolute urgency, particularly due to the dramatic humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and a shared desire to work for a lasting peace in the region.” He also pointed out that a fundamental political conclusion after his mission to the region, which he shared with EU Foreign Ministers, is that “the best guarantee for Israel’s security is the creation of a Palestinian state.”

I will ask the European External Action Service to put forward in writing its proposals on the future of Gaza, which I would like to discuss with the Ministers. The next Foreign Affairs Council in December will allow us to take stock again and focus particularly on stabilizing Gaza and revitalizing the two-state solution.”

In addition, Josep Borel emphasized that the humanitarian situation of the civilian population is dramatic and that the Security Council resolution of UN which calls for immediate humanitarian pauses is a big step forward, but its swift implementation must be ensured.

He underlined at the same time that “there is also an urgent need to release the hostages”.

The High Representative expressed his concern “about the rapid deterioration of the situation in the West Bank and the risk of further escalation there – despite the efforts of the Palestinian Authority to de-escalate the situation”. He noted that, in light of increased extremist and settler violence against Palestinians, there is a real risk of the situation escalating.

From the side of the neighboring countries, he said, it isi strong desire to avoid escalation of the conflict, adding that the Houthi ship hijacking reports are yet another alarming signal about the danger of regional escalation. Finally, he added that diplomacy remains the best way to avoid uncontrolled escalation and despite the enormous challenges, “we must advance our concerns for the stabilization of Gaza and the future Palestinian state”.

Source: News Beast

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