“I am glad to hear his commitment to two states. EU ready to help,” EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini tweeted Wednesday night after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu publicly pledged his support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in his first clear policy statement on the issue since his new government was formed last week.
“I don’t support a one state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at all,” Netanyahu said as he met with Mogherini who is on a two-day visit.
“I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state, and I look forward to discussing with you how we can advance that vision forth in a practical, secure and responsible way,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu assured Mogherini that he was committed to resolving the conflict.
“Israel wants peace. I want peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all. My position has not changed,” Netanyahu said. He added that Israel has taken tangible steps to make life easier for the Palestinians.
“We’ve taken economic steps, added measures for reconstruction and development and ensuring ongoing humanitarian support. We’ll continue with those practical steps,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister added that “if I look around at our region and the world, the most dangerous enemy of peace is Iran.” ” Iran is arming and training Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Iran is opening a third terror front against Israel in the Golan and it is pursuing its nuclear program, which I believe poses the greatest threat to the region and to the world.”
He stressed that the Lausanne program ”will not block Iran’s path to the bomb.” “Iran’s emerging deal with the world powers facilitates and legitimizes Iran’s continued development of the capabilities of forming nuclear weapons. And by prematurely easing sanctions, the deal will give Iran many billions of dollars with which to fund its aggression and its worldwide terror campaign.”
Prior to her arrival in the region, Mogherini said that the EU wanted to play a major role in relaunching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians “on the basis of the two-state solution.”
“The EU is interested in peace and security for Israel and for the region because this is also our European peace and security.”
Earlier in Ramallah, where she met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Mogherini spoke against the status quo and said that it was a European, Palestinian and Israeli interest “to move forward, because there is no status quo.”
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzi Hotovely, who also met with Mogherini in Jerusalem, told the EU top diplomat that for the peace process to resume, the Palestinians need to return to the negotiating table and must halt their unilateral steps against Israel in the international arena.
Referring to the Jerusalem terror attack earlier in the day in which two Border Police Officers were hurt by a Palestinian terrorists who tried to run them down, Hotovely said that Europe should strongly condemn terrorism, as well as back Israel’s demand for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.
Hotovely welcomed Mogherini comment that she was interested in coming now after the establishment of the new Israeli government to listen to both sides, saying that her visit at the time had a “great deal of importance.”
Mogherini is scheduled to meet the leader of the Opposition Zionist Union Isaac Herzog and President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday, before she returns to Brussels.
By Yossi Lempkowicz, Senior Media Advisor at Europe Israel Press Association.