Former European foreign ministers and leaders hit out at Trump’s Israel-Palestine plan

In an open letter, senior former politicians and diplomats have said the US’s Middle East peace plan risks an Apartheid outcome

This picture taken on February 10, 2020 shows a view of the Dome of the Rock (R) and al-Aqsa mosque (C), both within the area known as al-Aqsa mosque compound to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews, in Jerusalem on a stormy day.  / AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI

Fifty former European leaders and foreign ministers have expressed deep concern over US President Donald Trump’s plan to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict saying it “envisages an outcome with characteristics similar to apartheid”.

The letter, signed by figures such as former British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, Ingvar Carlsson the former prime minister of Sweden and Massimo d’Alema, a former Italian prime minister have also said Mr Trump’s plan “risks fuelling the conflict” between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Peace to Prosperity is not a road map to a viable two-state solution, nor to any other legitimate solution to the conflict. The plan envisages a formalisation of the current reality in the occupied Palestinian territory, in which two peoples are living side by side without equal rights," the letter published in The Guardian read.

“Such an outcome has characteristics similar to apartheid – a term we don’t use lightly,” it added.

In January, Mr Trump unveiled his peace deal which proposes the creation of a Palestinian state while imposing strict conditions on it.

It grants control of long-contested West Bank settlements to Israel and proposes a timeline for the creation of a Palestinian capital in the Abu Dis district of East Jerusalem.

"The widespread alarm that the Trump plan has created is highlighted by the number of high-profile and distinguished politicians who signed this powerful letter. It is time that the rest of the world made clear that such a plan is no basis for any talks,” Caabu Director Chris Doyle said.

“The only way forward are talks based on international resolutions and consensus which envisages a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines with a shared capital in Jerusalem and fair resolution of the refugee issue,” he added.

Palestinian leaders have roundly rejected the deal and analysts said the plans would kill the path to the two-state solution Mr Trump purportedly supports.

While nations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have said the deal may offer an opportunity to reinvigorate peace talks in the region, Europe has recommitted itself to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict in response to Mr Trump's plans.

In their letter, the former leaders back this stance. “We fully agree with the EU that Israeli ‘steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged’, as they would impair the fundamental international norm banning the acquisition of territory by force,” it read.