Common responses to a global threat. The Middle East Quartet Report

Common responses to a global threat. The Middle East Quartet Report

Dhaka, and Istanbul just days ago. Everyone sees that all peoples and all countries face the same threat. Our response can only be common, global, involving the whole international community, together.

My first thought goes to the victims, their families, their loved ones. I have been in contact all day with Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni: I’ve guaranteed that the European Union delegation’s offices and personnel are at full disposal of Italian authorities, and of all European citizens in Bangladesh.

It is a fragile world, and a difficult moment in our history. And we cannot back down. We keep on working – together, on multiple fronts, knowing that instability ignores national borders. But peace and hope can also be contagious: we have a duty and a responsibility to preserve and feed them, each and every day.

For this very reason, together with the other leaders of the Middle East Quartet – Ban Ki-moon for the UN, John Kerry for the US, Sergei Lavrov for Russia – yesterday we presented a report on the obstacles impeding a two-State solution in Israel and Palestine, and the steps needed to relaunch direct negotiations between the two peoples. Tensions in the region cannot distract us from the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. On the contrary: avoiding a new escalation in the Holy Land, as well as working for peace, has never been so urgent – also for cutting the ground from under the terrorists’ feet.

We have been working for a whole year to relaunch the Quartet’s work. Today, for the first time in ten years, we have issued clear and shared words, and important recommendations that we will now work to implement. The report explains very clearly that the two-State solution is fading away, and that the situation can only get worse if we don’t change course as soon as possible. This has been only confirmed, over the last few days, by terrible episodes of violence in Israel and Palestine. This is why we have outlined some very concrete steps, which can be put into practice immediately, to create a more positive environment for relaunching meaningful direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

The responsibility lies in their leaders’ hands. We cannot impose peace on them from the outside. But the international community – starting with Arab countries and our Europe – can do so much to help the two sides re-engage on a path towards peace, and to walk alongside them.

Here is the full Quartet Report.

Here is the joint statement of Quartet principals.

And here is a video message from me, introducing the Report.