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President concerned by the ‘persistent deadlock’ in the Middle East peace process

Strasbourg, 24.06.2020 – “I am extremely worried by the persistent deadlock in the Middle East peace process. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians remains a major source of instability for the whole region,” said Rik Daems, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today.

“Against this background, the announcement by the Israeli authorities of plans to annex, as of 1 July 2020, large parts of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and the Valley of the Jordan River causes utmost concern.

If implemented, the annexation of Palestinian lands would constitute a serious violation of international law. It creates the risk of fueling a new and dangerous cycle of violence and ruins prospects for reviving negotiations and bringing peace in the region.

I would like to join many of the calls by key international actors and urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral steps in this direction,” he added.

“As the Israeli Knesset has observer status with the Parliamentary Assembly, and Palestine is a partner for democracy, I invite them to take advantage of their respective positions in the Assembly, to jointly contribute to the Middle East peace process,” Mr Daems concluded.