BRUSSELS, May 18 (KUNA) -- European Union foreign affairs ministers held an informal virtual meeting Tuesday and exchanged views on recent upsurge in violence in the Middle East and discussed the elements of the EU response according to an EU statement.
EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, summarised the overall sense of the discussion at a press conference after the meeting saying that the priority is the immediate cessation of all violence and the implementation of a ceasefire, in order to protect civilians, and give full humanitarian access in Gaza.
The upsurge in violence in the last days has led to a high number of civilian deaths and injured, including a high number of children and women. This is unacceptable, he said.
The status quo of the Holy Sites must be fully respected, and the right to worship be upheld. It is important not to proceed with evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, in line with the EU position on settlements, said Borrell.
"Real security for Israel and Palestine requires a true political solution that will bring peace. In order to do so, we need to restore a political horizon, explore space for re-engagement between the parties, develop confidence-building measures, improve the people's living conditions, and open the path towards the potential relaunching of the peace process," he said.
The EU will renew its engagement with key partners like the new US administration, and a revived Quartet, he noted.
Borrell announced that EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, Sven Koopmans, will travel to the region to engage with the Quartet, other partners and the parties themselves. (end) nk.ibi