Published on 15-May-2013

Malta has been following closely the current international efforts, led by the commendable diplomatic efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry, to revive the Middle East Peace Process and calls on all partners to do their utmost to provide the necessary support for the resumption of direct negotiations. The parallel efforts of Egypt to bridge intra-Palestinian divisions are also highly praiseworthy and Malta augurs that current negotiations will lead to Palestinian reconciliation.   

Malta supports the Statement by the European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton, issued on 10 May 2013, expressing concern on the developments in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The recent increase in demolitions in the West Bank and the announcement of plans to further expand the Beit El settlement by almost 300 houses undermine recent efforts to revive the peace process. Malta reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law, and constitute an obstacle to peace.

The latest events at religious sites in Jerusalem, the incidents during the Orthodox Easter, the disturbances at the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount compound and the temporary detention of the Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine on 8 May are of particular concern.  Malta welcomes the words of President Shimon Peres, assuring that Israel will respect all religions' holy places and ensure all worshipers from all religions can pray in their respective holy sites.

Malta calls upon all parties not to succumb to provocations nor take steps that would kill the possibility of a Two-State Solution.

Document Type: Press Release
Country: Malta
Subject: Holy places, House demolitions, Incidents, Peace process, Peace proposals and efforts, Settlements
Publication Date: 15/05/2013