The European Union’s (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said Tuesday’s vote at the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Palestinian statehood underlined the need for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to urgently resume peace negotiations.
The Security Council failed to adopt an Arab-backed resolution that would have paved the way to a Palestinian state, setting a 12-month deadline for Israel to reach a final peace deal with the PA and calling for a full Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria by the end of 2017.
The vote “underlines once again the urgency of resuming meaningful negotiations between the parties and the need for the international community to focus on concrete achievements” to reach a final settlement, Mogherini said in a statement quoted by the AFP news agency.
In a sign of EU divisions, France and Luxembourg voted for the resolution, but Britain abstained as the measure fell one vote short of winning the nine “yes” votes necessary for adoption by the 15-member council.
Mogherini said, however, all sides still want to build a comprehensive peace agreement based on two states “living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition.”
She added, “The European Union believes that setting clear parameters for the negotiations is key for their success.”
Mogherini said these should “be defined on the basis” of land-for-peace UN resolutions that were reinforced by the Madrid peace process, launched in 1991, along with later diplomatic efforts.
“The EU renews its call for both parties to resume negotiations urgently and to refrain from any action further undermining the viability of the two-state solution,” Mogherini said, according to AFP.
“The European Union will promote and support now more than ever efforts to achieve a lasting peace based on this two-state vision together with international partners, including in the region,” she stressed.
China and Russia were among the eight countries that supported the text. Australia and the United States voted against, and the rest of the members abstained, including Nigeria which was originally expected to vote in favor.
The resolution failed to pass despite earlier claims by the PA that it had the necessary nine-vote majority to enable it to pass the resolution.
In a short statement following the vote, Israeli representative Israel Nitzan told the PA that statehood cannot be achieved using provocations.
“The Palestinians have found every possible opportunity to avoid direct negotiations. They have engaged in a never-ending string of political games and now they are parading into this Council with preposterous unilateral proposals,” he said.
“I have news for the Palestinians – you cannot agitate and provoke your way to a state,” continued Nitzan.
“I urge the Council to stop indulging the Palestinians and put an end to their march of folly,” he concluded.