Netanyahu realised there is full EU unity on Jerusalem, Mogherini says after EU Foreign Affairs Council
The European Union wants to continue working with the Quartet for the Middle East and partners in the region to relaunch the Middle East Peace Process, High Representative Federica Mogherini told the press today following an informal breakfast with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ahead of today's Foreign Affairs Council.
"I know that Prime Minister Netanyahu mentioned a couple of times that he expects others to follow President Trump decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem," Mogherini said following a meeting of the 28 Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
"He can keep his expectations for others, because from the European Union Member States side this move will not come," the High Representative said highlighting unity behind the EU's position on Jerusalem and the Middle East Peace Process.
The conversation during the informal breakfast with Netanyahu was dominated by the concerns and news around Jerusalem and the prospects of relaunching the peace process. In January, President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will be in Brussels for similar talks.
"I have to say that Prime Minister Netanyahu realized I think from the Ministers themselves that there is full EU unity on this," Mogherini said, stressing that a long and lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians remains a top priority for the European Union.
Upon his arrival this morning, Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke positively of the American peace initiative and of the Trump administration's policy change on Jerusalem.
"I can say very clearly there is no initiative, no peace initiative, no attempt to restart peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians that can happen without an engagement from the US, but there can be no illusion from the US side that the US initiative alone would be successful," the High Representative answered when asked about it during the press conference.
The EU is not working on specific EU initiatives, Mogherini said, but is also "not simply sitting and waiting in a "waiting for Godot" attitude". The EU is rather "working actively with our partners, including the United States, including the actors in the region on a clear horizon which is the two states and with a clear framework of direct negotiations and an international and regional framework to accompany that."
With this context in mind, the European Union wants to avoid escalations in the region that could endanger its stabilizing actions. In this sense, the High Representative will visit Lebanon next week to show support to its people and institutions. "The Lebanese people are asking the Lebanese institutions to focus on the needs of their citizens and we (the EU) are there to support you doing this," Mogherini said her message will be for the visit.
"We will be at your side both on the security, on the economic and the internal challenges you are facing."