Gerapetritis calls for ‘immediate halt’ of hostilities in Middle East, on arrival at EU Council

Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis on Monday attended the EU Foreign Affairs Council held in Brussels.

In relation to the Middle East, he noted in statements as he arrived for the meeting that there must be an immediate halt of all hostilities, that the hostages must be released, additional humanitarian corridors opened and “we must work for a two-state solution, which is, I think, a common place for us.”

He announced that he intends to propose a joint task force made up of both Arab state and EU foreign ministers to ensure “effective negotiations for immediate peace”, noting that “tomorrow might be very late” under the circumstances.

More specifically, the foreign minister stated:

“Amid two wars, the EU needs to take further initiatives, strong, tangible to express the solidarity towards peace and prosperity. As regards Ukraine, we need to take further initiatives to express our solidarity with Ukraine. This is not only a war about territorial integrity or sovereignty. It is a war which identifies the need for the dominance of international law and of the condemnation of any revisionism, and we can see how this spillover could also be applied in Europe. As regards the Middle East, we will have the honour to host five ministers from the Arab states and the secretary general of the Arab League. This is going to be a unique opportunity to coordinate our activity. I think we all agree in the substance of our policy: we need to have [an] immediate halt of all hostilities, we need to have the hostages released, we need to work on further humanitarian corridors and we need to work also on the two-state solution, which is, I think, a common place for us. At the same time, we need to empower the Palestinian Authority in the process for further legitimacy and transformation of the Palestinian Territory. In addition, I would like to say that I will propose a joint task force, including foreign ministers both from the Arab states and the EU, who will be able to address both parties in order to ensure that there are effective negotiations for immediate peace. Tomorrow might be very late under the circumstances.”