Sat, 19 Sep 2020

DUBLIN, Ireland - The government of Ireland says it is 'deeply concerned' over comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he will call for cabinet approval on Sunday to annexe Israeli settlements.

"I am deeply concerned by the comments made by PM Netanyahu today regarding extending Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and over settlements across the West Bank," Simon Coveney, Ireland's tanaiste and minister for foreign affairs said Wednesday.

"Let me be clear - annexation of territory by force is prohibited under international law, including by the UN Charter. Such an action would be a decisive step away from the Oslo Accords, which both parties signed, and which Ireland has worked tirelessly to support for over 25 years."

"It would also be a decisive step away from the commitment to an agreed solution between the parties; a solution which could be backed and supported by the international community as a whole."

Commenting earlier on the peace plan released on Tuesday by U.S. President Donald Trump, in company with Mr Netanyahu, the tanaiste said: "We will study the plan in more detail but our initial response is one of grave concern that it fails to achieve the balance and equality of esteem necessary to gain the support of both sides to the conflict and the international community."

"I have engaged very actively with the U.S. Middle East team over the past three years. I have made clear that Ireland would be willing to support any peace initiative that respected the international parameters for a two-state solution and UN Security Council resolutions, and provided a basis to meet the aspirations of both peoples. We need to see the details and assess the full implications of the U.S. initiative, but from what I have heard so far, the proposed plan does not meet this threshold," he said.

"A successful resolution of the conflict can only be reached if both parties are included on an equal basis and can work together for an agreed outcome. No solution can be imposed and no unilateral moves should take place."

(File photo).

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