On the same day, the 27 EU Foreign Ministers will have an exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East with the Secretary General of the Arab League, and the Foreign Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority.
European Union Foreign Ministers willl hold an exchange of views on the situation in the Middle East and in particular on the war in Gaza during their meeting Monday in Brussels.
As part of this discussion, they will have in the morning an informal exchange with the new Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. Over lunch, they will have similar exchanges with the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, respectively Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Sameh Shoukry and Ayman Safadi.
And in the afternoon, they will meet with the Palestinian Authority Foreign Affairs Minister, Riyad al-Maliki.
‘’EU Ministers will discuss developments on the ground and in the wider region, and may touch on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, the need to prevent spill-over in the region and the way forward,’’ an EU diplomat said.
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz and his Palestinian counterpart Riyad Al-Maliki are not expected to meet each other during their Brussels visits.
According to press reports, in advance to Monday’s meeting, EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has drafted a 10-point plan for a “credible, comprehensive solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict;
“In view of the current situation and despite the evident difficulties and uncertainties, the time to prepare for (a) comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace is now,” the draft document reportedly says..
The document outlines a series of steps that could eventually bring peace to the Gaza Strip, establish an independent Palestinian state, normalise relations between Israel and the Arab world, and guarantee long-term security in the region.
A key element of the EU’s future peace roadmap is a “Preparatory Peace Conference” involving the EU, the US, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Arab League and the United Nations.
When he took over the foreign minister portfolio earlier this month, Israel Katz stressed that his country was “at the height of World War III against Iran and radical Islam.”
Katz, who replaced Eli Cohen as Israel’s top diplomat according to a previously agreed rotation agreement, also pledged in his address that Israel “will achieve our goal of toppling Hamas.”
He emphasized that his top priority is bringing back the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza: “Our commitment as a country and as a ministry is first of all to bring the hostages home with new initiatives, to exert global pressure.”
The Israeli Foreign Minister added that his second priority is maintaining international legitimacy for continued combat against Hamas in Gaza and against Hezbollah in Lebanon.
On Thursday, the European Parliament in Strasbourg adopted a resolution making a a ceasefire’’ in the war between Israel and Hamas conditional on the immediate release of the remaining hostages and the dismantling of terrorist organization Hamas, a resolution considered as a diplomatic victory for Israel in the European assembly.
The amendments demanding conditionality for a ceasefire were supported by the party groups on the political right. The resolution, which in its original form demanded an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, was thus supported by the party groups on the left including the Greens but was also embraced by the former liberal group, now called Renew.
The Israeli mission to the EU said that this resolution shows the Parliament “has an understanding of the cause of the war and the means to end it.”
“We are pleased that the resolution states clearly that a ceasefire is provided upon the unconditional release of all hostages and the dismantling of the terrorist organization Hamas,” it added.
In his remarks to Belgian Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, whose country currently chairs the EU Council of Ministers, the Chairman of the European Parliament delegation to Israel, Spanish MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White declared that “there can be no sustainable peace as long as Hamas and other terrorist organizations are hijacking the Palestinian cause and are threatening the existence of Israel.”
He concluded by saying that “if we fail to keep our unity in this house (the European Parliament), we are simply becoming puppets of Iran and its proxies, and this is taking us even further away from a sustainable peace”.
Earlier this week, European Union member states added Yahiya Sinwar, Hamas’ political leader and mastermind of the October 7 massacres in southern Israel to the EU’s terrorist sanctions list.