EU's Borrell calls for Palestinian state to secure Israel's security

Bloc's top diplomat warns situation could escalate as other actors are drawn into the conflict

Josep Borell said that he had drawn the “fundamental political conclusion” from his discussions across the region. AFP
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The establishment of a Palestinian state is the best way to ensure Israel's security, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday.

After touring the Middle East for talks on Israel's war with Hamas, Mr Borrell held a video meeting with foreign ministers from the EU's 27 countries.

Mr Borrell said that he had drawn “a fundamental political conclusion” from his discussions across the region.

“I think that the best guarantee for Israel's security is the creation of a Palestinian state,” he said in a written summary of the EU meeting.

Mr Borrell has insisted Israel should not occupy Gaza after the current conflict ends and that control of the territory should be handed over to the Palestinian Authority.

“Despite the huge challenges, we have to advance our reflections on the stabilisation of Gaza and the future Palestinian state,” he said.

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In the short term, Mr Borrell said after visiting a string of Arab states, there was a “sense of urgency” over the desperate humanitarian situation in Gaza.

“The UN Security Council resolution calling for immediate humanitarian pauses is a big step forward, but we must ensure its rapid implementation,” the EU official said.

Another major fear was the possibility of the conflict further inflaming volatile situation in the West Bank and dragging in other actors in the Middle East.

“In light of increased extremists and settlers' violence against Palestinians there is a real risk that the situation could escalate,” Mr Borrell said.

“Reports of a ship hijacked by the Houthis are another worrying signal of a risk of the regional spill over.”

Updated: November 21, 2023, 4:45 AM