The European Union has debated in Barcelona about the situation in the Middle East and is betting that in the future peace process, The Palestinian Authority takes control of the Gaza Strip and displace Hamas.
The meeting took place within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean forum held in Barcelona in which Israel did not participate and from which a joint position in favor of prolonging the truce emerged.
The Modernist Site of Sant Pau, in Barcelona, has hosted the Regional Forum of the Union for the Mediterranean with the notable absence of Israeli representatives, who have declined the invitation.
They ask that hostilities cease and international law be respected
The controversy of recent days between Spain and Israel – after the Israeli accusations against President Pedro Sánchez of “supporting terrorism” by Hamas – has flown over the meeting, in which there have been disagreements about the solution to the conflict, although everyone has agreed in calling for the cessation of hostilities, the entry of humanitarian aid to Gaza and respect for international law.
At the doors of the venue, they have gathered since before nine in the morning about thirty people under the slogan “Permanent ceasefire”with Palestinian flags and shouts of “Free Palestine” and “Boycott Israel.”
Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, has warned that this “very serious humanitarian crisis” in Gaza is “unsustainable” and has opted to extend the truce.
Borrell, who has stressed that “this is not a war between Jews and Muslims” nor a “war of civilizations”, has warned that the problem “will not have a military solution”, but rather “Israel will only be able to live in peace and security if a political solution is reached” that allows “breaking the cycle of violence.”
He recalled that the “two-state solution”, Israeli and Palestinian, has been defended for a long time, but “little or nothing has been done to make it a reality.”
To achieve this objective, according to Borrell, “concrete steps” must be taken, starting with extend the truceget Hamas to “lose control” of Gaza to the benefit of the Palestinian Authority and prevent “illegal colonization” in the West Bank.
Albares does not see Hamas as a “partner for peace”
Already at the opening of the forum, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, José Manuel Albares, host of the meeting, defended the “effective return” of the Palestinian Authority to Gazainstead of Hamas, which cannot be a “partner for peace” in the Middle East.
Albares, who has met with the Palestinian Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, explained that the Israeli ambassador in Madrid has been summoned to express a “blatant rejection” of the accusations against Sánchez and to ask for “guarantees” that they will not be repeated. .
The forum held in Barcelona has been co-chaired by Borrell and Ayman Safadi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates of Jordan.
The nuances of the Jordanian minister
In the press conference that closed the forum, Safadi accused the Israeli government of commit “genocide” against the Palestinians and has defended that peace requires the implementation of the two-state solution, the end of Israel’s “occupation” and Palestine recovering its 1967 borders.
However, when considering the European proposal that the Palestinian Authority come to control Gaza, he has been evasive: “Palestinians have the right to self-determination and to choose who governs them. We must be very careful to only focus on Gaza. Gaza has to be seen as a part of the entire occupied Palestinian territory. “To see only Gaza is to fuel future conflict.”
For his part, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, the Egyptian Nasser Kamel, has demanded an end to “this madness”, in reference to the war in Gaza, and has urged Europe to apply in the conflict between Israel and Palestine the same standards as in the Russian occupation of Ukraine.