EP Plenary: Speech by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell on the situation in Israel and Palestine
March 15, 2023
President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament,
Thank you for this opportunity to address you today on these increasingly important issues. Everybody has been following closely the developments in the Middle East in the past weeks, both in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory.
First, I would like to start by underlining both, the European Union’s and my own personal engagement with both parties. I have been in contact with both, Israeli Foreign Minister [Eli] Cohen – even this morning – and Palestinian Prime Minister [Mohammad] Shtayyeh. We invited Prime Minister Shtayyeh to Brussels, where we had a very good exchange at the last Foreign Affairs Council in January.
This has been coupled with public messaging – you have seen a number of my statements. Not my statements, the last one was a statement of 27 Member States. Sometimes people blame me for the statements of the 27 Member States [but] it is not me, it is the 27 Member States. I am representing the Council, and the Council is [composed of] the 27 Member States.
This was issued last Wednesday, after we faced a difficult situation on the ground, with increasing violence and extremism. I think it is crucial that the European Union is united and speaks with one voice – not my voice, the voice of the 27 [Member States], all together.
We managed to reach an agreement of the 27 [Member States] and this is the first time it happens in many years that we have a statement of the 27 [Member States on this issue].