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Exchange of views with Israeli and Palestinian representatives at PACE sub-committee meeting

The Sub-Committee on the Middle East and the Arab World held a meeting by video-conference on 12 June 2020.

Opening the meeting, George Loucaides (Cyprus, UEL), Chairperson of the Sub-Committee, stressed that the conflicts and instability in the Mediterranean region, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Cyprus problem, and the wars in Syria and Libya, have a strong and direct impact on Europe.

Ambassador Salman Elherfi, Head of the Palestinian Mission in France, warned the sub-committee that the announced intentions of the Israeli authorities to annex large parts of the West Bank and the Valley of the Jordan River, in the framework of the implementation of the “Trump peace plan”, would constitute a blatant violation of international law and destroy the prospects for reaching a just and viable solution to the conflict on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

Yaron Gamburg, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Permanent delegation of Israel to multilateral organisations in Paris and Secretary of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) delegation to the Assembly, stated that Israel sees the US peace plan as a basis for the renewal of negotiations and a resolution to the conflict. Quoting the incoming Foreign Minister of Israel, Gabi Ashkenazi, he said that “President Trump’s peace programme is a significant milestone. It will be advanced responsibly and in co-ordination with the United States, while peace agreements and Israel’s strategic interests are safeguarded.”

During the exchange of views, several parliamentarians spoke in favour of organising a current affairs debate on these issues during the forthcoming meeting of the Standing Committee of the Assembly, to be held on 26 June 2020, by video-conference.