Former European politicians: Trump plan would create apartheid-like situation

50 former European prime ministers and foreign ministers condemn US President's peace plan in open letter.

Elad Benari ,

Trump and Netanyahu
Trump and Netanyahu
Kobi Gideon/GPO

50 former European prime ministers and foreign ministers have condemned US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, saying in an open letter it would create an “apartheid-like situation”, Reuters reports.

In the letter, published by the British newspaper The Guardian, the former ministers rejected Trump’s plan for Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, which is known as the “Deal of the Century”.

“The plan envisages a formalization of the current reality in the occupied Palestinian territory, in which two peoples are living side by side without equal rights. Such an outcome has characteristics similar to apartheid – a term we don’t use lightly,” they said.

“It recognizes only one side’s claims to Jerusalem and offers no just solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees,” they added.

The politicians who signed the letter include former French prime minister and foreign minister Dominique de Villepin, former German foreign minister and vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, Britain’s former foreign secretary Jack Straw and Ireland’s former president Mary Robinson signed the letter.

Other signatories include former ministers or leaders of Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

“Considering the urgency of the situation, we call on Europe to reject the US plan as a basis for negotiations and to take immediate and effective steps to counter the threat of annexation – and thereby preserve the international rules-based order,” they said.

The “Deal of the Century” was criticized by Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, who said the Israelis and Palestinians should directly negotiate a two-state solution based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

The US plan "departs from these internationally agreed parameters," Borrell said in a statement in which he added the European Union was "especially concerned" by Prime Minister Binyamin’s Netanyahu's push to apply sovereignty to Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has rejected the Trump proposal, with its chairman Mahmoud Abbas saying the plan would be relegated to the "dustbin of history."