Spain currently chairs the presidency of the Council of the European Union. Belgium will take over from Spain in January.
Belgium’s and Spain’s Prime Ministers, Alexander De Croo and Pedro Sanchez, will travel to Israel and the Palestinian Territories on Wednesday. They will also visit Egypt during their Middle East trip.
They will hold talks with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on the war in Gaza, Belgian Prime Minister’s office said.
“These field visits to Israel and Palestine should enable us to assess the impact of the terrorist attack carried out by Hamas on October 7, and to discuss the humanitarian situation in Gaza”, says a press release.
Spain currently holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union. Belgium will take over the six-month chairmanship from Spain in January.
“Through this mission, the Belgian and Spanish Prime Ministers wish to express their support for the victims of Hamas terrorism, for the hostages and their families, and for the Palestinian population hard hit by the military operations in Gaza and by the increase in violence in the West Bank and East Jerusalem”, the statement continues.
“We want to bring our full weight to bear on de-escalation, and coming together with the Spanish Prime Minister will send a strong message to both sides,” a Belgian diplomatic source said.
The Palestinian Authority, which is not in power in the Gaza Strip, is considered the only credible Palestinian interlocutor by the European Union.