Didier Reynders on the announcement of the construction of new Israeli settlements

date: 31 October 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders supports the declaration made by High Representative Catherine Ashton regarding the Israeli government’s decision to expand settlements in East Jerusalem.

Minister Reynders was pleased to learn of the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners, but regrets the simultaneous announcement that new housing units will be built in the area. He reiterated that the settlements in question are illegal with regard to international law and that they are an obstacle to peace between the two camps.

Negotiations are currently under way, and in this context difficult decisions will have to be made to find a solution leading to two viable states. The two states must coexist as undivided, sovereign and democratic nations in a peaceful and safe environment. Like the European Union, Didier Reynders urges both sides to show leadership and avoid any action liable to undermine mutual trust.