West Bank, ALRAY - 25 of the 27 member states of the European Union have approved a statement issued by the Union's Foreign Ministry urging the Israeli occupation government to abandon the annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.
In the statement issued by EU Foreign Minister, Josip Borel, the European Union called on the new Israeli government to abandon plans to annex lands in the occupied West Bank, and reminded "Israel" of the need to respect international law.
The European Union urges Israel in the statement to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian land, which constitutes a violation of international law.
“I am delighted that 25 European Union member states have supported this declaration, which is the result of an initiative that I took on 12 May with my Irish colleague, Simon Kouffini,” said Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jan Asselborn.
He expressed his regret over the absence of two countries in the European Union.
Austria and Hungary refused to join the statement during its May 15 discussion by European Union foreign ministers, according to Asselborn.
"The announcement reminds the positions of the European Union regarding the need to respect international law and support the two-state solution, so that Jerusalem will be the capital of the future two states, and the only way to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region," said Borrell, spokesman Peter Stano.
"We reaffirmed the position of the European Union that agreed by all member states. We are not at the end of the process; a new Israeli government has been formed and the European Union is ready to work with it effectively," he added.
Asselborn said last weekend, "We are not talking about sanctions. We are putting ourselves in a protective position," noting that "this text is not aggressive."
"If Israel moves to applying the plan, and annexes the Jordan Valley in the West Bank, I do not see any difference with what Russia did with the Crimea in 2014," he added.
"But I do not want to talk about sanctions at the moment. We have two months to 15 July to persuade Israel to abandon this project."