European Parliament: Remarks by the HR/VP Josep Borrell on the Foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 crisis and on the possible Israeli annexation in the West Bank
June 18, 2020
First, on the European Union response to the coronavirus crisis, it is clear that a global pandemic needs global solutions and the European Union must be at the centre of this response. For doing so, in April we launched the Team Europe response to support our partner countries face this pandemic. I have already presented this in Committee meetings.
On the 8th June, we discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council on Development how to move forward quickly with the €36 billion to help the most vulnerable countries in Africa, Latin America and our neighbourhood.
The extension of the key EU programmes for refugees is also crucial during this crisis. We appreciate the Parliament’s efforts to approve the necessary Draft Amending Budget in July to allocate more than €400 million in support to Syrian refugees.
On the possible annexation by Israel of parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, our position is clear, although once again it is difficult to find unanimity but there is a strong, very strong majority of countries that continue supporting a negotiated two-state solution, based on international parameters and considering that any annexation would be against international law.
Consequently, we strongly urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral decision that would lead to the annexation of any occupied Palestinian territory. I had the opportunity of expressing this point of view in my phone calls with the new Ministers of Foreign Affairs [Gavriel Ashkenazi] and Defence [Benjamin Gantz] of Israel. This would constitute a serious violation of international law. In March, in Geneva, 27 Member States agreed on that.