EU FMs air concerns over Israel’s plan to annex West Bank in video-call with Pompeo

Foreign ministers of the European Union (EU) states voiced concerns over Israel’s plan to annex West Bank at a video conference Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who “has not accepted or refused anything.”

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said the move could affect the prospects of a two-state solution and the regional stability.

Borrell said Pompeo took notes of EU states’ opinions, including a German one which “has been very much concrete and insisted a lot in the need of preventing annexation.”

Pompeo “has not accepted or refused anything”, as the meeting was only for an exchange of views, said Borrell at a press conference following the three-hour meeting, which also touched on issues of China and Ukraine.

Borrell said the EU encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to engage in a credible and meaningful political process, and the bloc recognizes that the latest plan initiated by the U.S. could serve as a starting point for negotiation, although it does not “respect internationally-agreed parameters.”

Earlier in June, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visited Israel and voiced concerns over Israel’s plan to begin annexing portions of the West Bank on July 1 and warned that such a move will violate international law.

As the first European minister to visit Israel since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Maas said Germany and the EU “seek dialogue” with Israel, but stressed that Europe objects the annexation.