Europe reacts to Trump’s Middle East peace plan

Palestinian protesters burn pictures of US President Donald J. Trump during a protest against the so-called 'Deal of the Century', planned by Trump to solve the conflict between Palestinians and Israel, at the West Bank city of Bethlehem. EPA-EFE/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN

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Leaders from around the world have responded with mixed reactions to US President Donald Trump’s long-awaited Middle East plan unveiled on Wednesday.

The proposal was released alongside Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington. Palestinian leaders said they were not invited to attend the talks and preemptively rejected the plan. Trump’s proposal made concessions to Palestinians — but under terms that they have previously ruled out, such as accepting West Bank settlements.

Europe and the UN were lukewarm and cautious after the peace plan was released.

The EU urged Israelis and Palestinians to study the proposal carefully.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s highest-ranking diplomat, said the block will “study and assess” Trump’s plans on the basis of its commitment to a “negotiated and viable two-state solution that takes into account the legitimate aspirations of both the Palestinians and the Israelis.”

Paris was open to Trump’s efforts to come up with a plan, but said it would look closer at the details. “France welcomes President Trump’s efforts and will study closely the peace program he has presented,” said a statement from the French foreign ministry.

The statement also reiterated France’s wish for a two-state solution.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the UN supports two states living in peace and security within recognized borders, on the basis of the pre-1967 lines.

“The position of the United Nations on the two-state solution has been defined, throughout the years, by relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions by which the Secretariat is bound,” said Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for Guterres.

Russia said it would assess the proposal and called on Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate directly to find a “mutually acceptable compromise.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov added, “We do not know if the American proposal is mutually acceptable or not. We must wait for the reaction of the parties.”

Read more via DW/AP/Reuters

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