Netanyahu stated his commitment to a two-state solution and peace with the Palestinians in a meeting with the EU’s chief diplomat. He also reiterated his reservations about the pending nuclear deal with Iran.
Meeting on Wednesday with European Union (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed his commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” Netanyahu declared.
“I take this opportunity to reiterate Israel’s commitment to peace and my commitment to peace. Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken some concrete tangible steps to benefit the Palestinian population. We’ve taken economic steps, added measures for reconstruction and development and ensuring ongoing humanitarian support. We’ll continue with those practical steps. But at the same time we will continue to work towards peace,” he said.
The Palestinians have so far refused to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
“I know that you share our goal and we see you as a friend who can help advance it,” Netanyahu told Mogherini.
During the national election campaign in March, Netanyahu vowed that there will be no Palestinian state under his watch. The Obama administration is a strong supporter of the two-state solution, but many Israelis believe that such an outcome would threaten Israel’s existence.
During the meeting with the EU High Representative, Netanyahu reiterated his opposition to the nuclear deal in progress between Iran and the P5+1 powers and underscored the Iranian threat to the stability of the region and the world through its support of global terror.
“The peace and security of the region and the world demand that we insist on a better deal, and it’s not too late to do so,” the prime minister affirmed. “I hope that we can discuss and work together to achieve peace, security and prosperity for all our people, for all our neighbors.”
Mogherini, who came to the region in an attempt to jump-start the diplomatic process, told the Israeli leader that Europe is committed to preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons.
The EU has taken a tough stance against Israel, and several countries on the Continent have already recognized the non-existing state of Palestine.
The chief European diplomat received a letter last week from a group of former European political leaders, calling for an “urgent reassessment” of EU policy on diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The letter insisted that Israel “be held to account for its actions in the ‘occupied territories’” and that the EU take an even harsher stance against Israel.
Mogherini is scheduled to meet with Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday. She will also hold discussions with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
AP contributed to this report.
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