EU’s Ashton Strongly Opposes Israeli Settlements’ Expansion

BRUSSELS, December 20, 2012 (WAFA) – High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton opposed, in a statement on Thursday, the new Israeli settlements’ expansion in West bank, including Jerusalem, “I strongly oppose this unprecedented expansion of settlements around Jerusalem.”

She said: “The approval of an additional 2610 housing units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos is extremely troubling, coming in addition to announcements made at the end of November and Monday’s approval of 1500 units in Ramat Shlomo. This plan for Givat Hamatos would cut the geographic continuity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.”

“The EU has never been clearer than it was on 10 December in voicing its strong opposition to settlement expansion,” she said. “EU particularly opposes the implementation of plans which seriously undermine the prospects of a negotiated resolution of the conflict by jeopardizing the possibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state and of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states.”

She added, “In the light of its core objective of achieving the two-state solution, EU will closely monitor the situation and its broader implications, and act accordingly.”

She said “EU calls for a bold demonstration of political will and leadership from both sides to break the current impasse and resume negotiations. The parties must engage in direct and substantial negotiations without pre-conditions in order to achieve a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ending all claims.”

Source: WAFA News