The European Union's Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said Tuesday in a speech before the European Parliament that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must "demonstrate with acts" that their commitment to the two-state solution "is real and not just fake" or "just an empty slogan."
Mogherini, who met with Netanyahu in Berlin last Thursday and with Abbas in Brussels on Monday, said that she has sought the consent of the two leaders for the Quartet representatives – the U.S., Russia, the UN and the EU – to visit the region in the next several days, in order to discuss with the sides trust-building steps to be taken on the ground.
According to Mogherini, the Quartet has a several proposals for such steps, which would on one hand allow the Palestinians to exert more control over their daily lives, and on the other safeguard Israel's security. Mogherini explained that such steps must be reflected in "significant policy shifts on the ground that happen in line with past agreements that need to start being implemented." She added that "Talks for [the sake of] talks, negotiations for negotiations, will not bring anything real on the ground unless we create the conditions, the real conditions for the people to live and to live better."
The EU foreign policy chief also said that the recent escalation proves that the deadlock in the peace process brings about violence. According to Mogherini, the reasons for the escalation are frustration, lack of hope and no political horizon.
"Without a political horizon, any de-escalation we might get will only last for a limited time, and we will go back again and again to the cycle of violence," she said. "If Netanyahu and Abbas fail now to work together to stop the violence and rebuild a credible political process, the situation for their own people will get only worse and worse."
"Recent events should serve as a warning," she added. "If anyone still believes that we can just manage the current crisis and contain it every cycle of violence is going to be worse than the previous one."
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