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Sereni, Arab countries very worried about Israeli annexation hypothesis in the West Bank

“The Italian position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unchanged: we support a negotiated solution that should take due account of the legitimate aspirations and needs of both parties and should lead to a just, viable and sustainable two-state solution based on international standards and in accordance with international law”. This was stated by the Vice Minister Marina Sereni when she opened the webinar “Israel and Palestine: the end of the Two-State solution?”, organised as part of the preparatory work for the MED Dialogue by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI (Italian Institute for International Political Studies).

“In this regard, – explained the Vice Minister – we expressed serious concerns about the prospects of unilateral Israeli annexations. If implemented, such measures would constitute a clear violation of international law and would risk seriously undermining any possibility of resuming dialogue with the Palestinians and jeopardizing the viability of the two-state perspective. But it would also be detrimental to Israel’s security, which remains a priority for Italy and would jeopardise regional stability. We are therefore concerned about the Palestinian Authority’s announcements to suspend all the agreements signed with Israel and the United States, including in the security sector, and the consequent possibility of social unrest. Furthermore, we must take due account of the signals from the Arab world, which are increasingly clear and worrying: starting with the warnings from Jordan and Egypt, the only two Arab states to have signed peace agreements with Israel which have guaranteed a long period of peace and stability in the region, but also from the recent positions expressed by the Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the warnings from Turkey and even the unacceptable threats from Iran.

“The European Union and Italy are doing everything they can to avoid annexation. Our shared objective is to prevent unilateral moves before it is too late and that is why we are trying to raise awareness among the main actors involved, starting with Israel, which for us remains a strategic partner. It is well known that there are different positions on this issue among European countries. Nevertheless, almost all Member States agree that annexation is illegal. We must therefore, like Europe and like Italy, continue to engage with all the parties involved in the resumption of direct talks, with the aim of a solution that can guarantee peace, stability, and prosperity for all. Israelis and Palestinians face a historical crossroads. Our hope – concluded Sereni – is that both will act with a spirit of compromise and vision, choosing the right path to achieve this long-awaited and urgent goal”.

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