According to a draft prepared by European foreign ministers on Monday, the EU is "deeply dismayed" by Israeli plans for new housing in Judea and Samaria which they claim threaten peace efforts that instead need to be revived.
"The European Union is deeply dismayed by and strongly opposes Israeli plans to expand settlements in the West Bank," said a draft of the conclusions
on the Middle East peace process at a one-day meeting in Brussels. The plan "would seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict" since it would question the viability of the two states supposed to emerge through the peace process, it said.
The draft said that in view of recent developments, which include an unprecedented UN upgrade of the Palestinians' diplomatic status, the EU believed it was now time to take "bold and concrete steps towards peace." To this end, both sides must "engage in direct and substantial negotiations without pre-conditions in order to achieve a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending all claims."
The EU also called on the Palestinian leadership to use the UN upgrade constructively and not take steps which would "deepen the lack of trust and lead further away from a negotiated solution."