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Arab, European leaders affirm commitment to two-state solution

Feb. 26, 2019 10:20 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2019 4:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Arab and European leaders reaffirmed, on Monday, their common positions on the Middle East peace process, including on the status of Jerusalem.

Following the two-day Arab-European Union Summit in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, leaders from both sides stressed their positions on the illegality under international law of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The leaders said in a final declaration of the summit, "We reiterated our commitment to reaching a two-state solution on the basis of all relevant UN resolutions, as the only realistic way to end the occupation that began in 1967, including of East Jerusalem, and to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians through direct negotiations between the parties that addresses all final status issues.”

The leaders also recalled the importance of upholding the historic status quo for the holy sites in Jerusalem, including with regard to the custodianship of Jordan.

They added, "We reaffirmed the indispensable role of UNRWA and the need to support it politically and financially in order to allow it to continue fulfilling its UN mandate.”

Additionally, they expressed their concern about the humanitarian, political, security and economic situation in the Gaza Strip, and called for all parties to take immediate steps to produce a fundamental change to the better in full respect of international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, especially with respect to the protection of civilians.

Leaders and government heads of 28 European countries and 21 Arab states discussed for two days joint challenges and ways to boost mutual cooperation opportunities.

The leaders tackled a number of political and economic topics, including the Palestinian cause and other issues including organized crime, terrorism, illegal immigration, and human trafficking.

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