Monday, October 25

Spain and Italy launch a joint mission to resuscitate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians


Laya will travel to the region with his counterpart Di Maio in late July or early August in order to “anchor the ceasefire” and “open channels of dialogue.”

Gonzlez Laya and Di Maio, in Barcelona.Andreu DalmauEFE
  • Middle east Truce between Israel and Islamist group Hamas put to the test for the first time

The Foreign Minister, Arancha Gonzlez Laya, confirmed this Friday a joint mission with Italy to relaunch the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. “The Italian Foreign Minister and I have the intention of traveling shortly to Israel and Palestine. The purpose of the trip will be, in a dialogue with both countries, to anchor the ceasefire” between Israel and the Gaza militias, after the Last confrontation, Minister Laya has pointed out. In addition, the joint tour has the mission of “opening channels for a dialogue between Israel and Palestine that responds to the needs of restoring trust and the possibility that the two live in peace and security,” added Laya.

The mission, scheduled for this summer, “is another example of the good harmony and excellent relationship between Italy and Spain and of our desire, being as we are the two Mediterranean countries and committed to the southern neighborhood of the EU, to contribute , modestly but consistently, to peace and security of the southern neighborhood, “the minister detailed during a press conference this Friday in Madrid with her Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein.

The trip will also try “to move forward and discuss issues that have to do with the most imminent health response,” said Laya.

The Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi di Maio, made the announcement this Friday, during a telematic forum organized in Italy. Di Maio, who spoke of a joint mission with his Spanish counterpart to relaunch the role of the European Union In the entrenched peace process, he assured that his government has underway “various initiatives” in collaboration with the Spanish Executive in the region, according to Europa Press. The most prominent is a diplomatic trip scheduled for the end of July as an estimated date.

Di Maio has been in favor of “regenerating” the Madrid Quartet, also called the Quartet for Peace in the Middle East, a mechanism led by the EU, the US, the UN and Russia. Created in the Spanish capital in 2002, the division of opinions among its components made it inoperative and, after the resignation of Tony Blair as its special envoy, in 2015, it disappeared from the scene although it is still officially active.

The Middle East peace process has been at a standstill since 2014 and, in the absence of dialogue, the Administracin de Donald Trump launched its own initiatives. One of them was the so-called Abraham Agreements, which promoted the normalization of diplomatic relations of Arab countries with Israel and which the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan joined throughout 2020. The pact entailed substantial counterparts, such as pre-agreements for the purchase of arms in the case of the Arab Emirates, the withdrawal from the list of countries that promote terrorism in the case of Sudan or the recognition by the United States of the Moroccan sovereign in the Western Shara. .

“We cannot think that the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world can replace the peace process,” Di Maio declared this Friday, according to Europa Press. The head of Italian diplomacy has recognized the difficulty of the EU in speaking with one voice on the situation in the Middle East, which has historically diminished its role in the peace process.

This 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference, which was a milestone in the dialogue process and which paved the way for the Oslo Accords, which created the Palestinian National Authority. At the time, the international consensus was clearly in favor of the so-called “two-state solution”, which contemplated the creation of a Palestinian state with capital in East Jerusalem that would live in peace alongside Israel. The Trump presidency dynamited this consensus.

The Spanish Government had already expressed its desire to take advantage of this anniversary, which is commemorated at the end of October, to relaunch the dialogue. “We are working to schedule the visit,” which may take place “between the end of July and the beginning of August,” sources from the Italian Foreign Ministry told Efe. Di Maio and Laya discussed the details of this mission to revitalize the diplomatic profile of the EU in the region on June 19, gathered at the Forum for Dialogue between Spain and Italy held in Barcelona.

Laya will meet this coming Monday with Di Maio in the context of a planned meeting in Rome of the foreign ministers of the international coalition against the Islamic State. And they will repeat on June 29 and 30, at the G-20 Foreign Ministers Summit sponsored by Italy.

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