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Italy still backs ‘two-state solution’ to Israeli-Palestinian conflict, says top diplomat

Italy's top diplomat thinks the goal of the international community is to facilitate bringing Israel and Palestine to the negotiating table
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio
© AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu

ROME, February 17. /TASS/. Italy welcomes US endeavors in the Middle East peace process, and remains in favor of the ‘two-state solution’ to settle the conflict, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said in an interview with TASS on Monday when asked to comment on US President Donald Trump’s plan for the Israeli-Palestinian settlement.

"Any attempt to get the Israelis and the Palestinians to the negotiating table must be taken with all seriousness, and this is exactly what the European Union is doing. The decision on the co-existence of the two states in accordance with the vital resolutions of the United Nations and internationally recognized rules remains the most correct option, in our view," the top diplomat said.

"The task of the global community is to assist in any possible way in getting the sides to the negotiating table. This will be a long process. It is necessary to convince the Israelis and the Palestinians to refrain from any unilateral moves that would undermine any possibility for dialogue," Di Maio explained.

Trump’s peace plan

US President Donald Trump revealed the key provisions of the so-called ‘deal of the century’ at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on January 28. The deal is a plan to achieve a peaceful settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, which is based on the mutual recognition of the two states. The US proposes connecting the Palestinian territories in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with a high-speed railway service, while recognizing only a part of East Jerusalem as the Arab state’s capital (Netanyahu said that Jerusalem’s Abu Dis neighborhood is meant to become its capital). At the same time, the US leader described Jerusalem as Israel’s "undivided capital" and announced Washington’s intention to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

As a condition for the peace process, the US leader said that the Palestinian authorities should stop supporting Hamas, a radical movement operating in the Gaza Strip, as well as renounce methods of armed aggression. To advance the settlement process, the US promises that the deal will bring in $50 billion in investments, which will specifically be allocated to creating new jobs for Palestinians and compensation for lost homes.

Netanyahu backed Trump’s plan and expressed willingness to engage immediately in peace talks with the Palestinians. Nevertheless, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas rejected Trump’s proposals, branding them as a plot, while Hamas denounced the plan, saying that it was "not worth the ink it was written with."