İrem UZUN -TDO- The UN’s special Mideast envoy called Wednesday on Israel to drop plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, joining a growing international chorus of opposition. “Israel must abandon its intention to extend its sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, since such plan is a serious violation of international law that would close the door to a renewal of negotiations,” he said.
The statement came a day after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced an end to the Palestinians' security arrangements with the U.S. and Israel, which has vowed to annex territories in the occupied West Bank. "The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones," Abbas said at an emergency meeting for the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Envoy Nickolay Mladenov also called on the Palestinians to resume talks with the so-called Quartet, comprising the U.S., Russia, the EU and the United Nations. “Israel must abandon threats of annexation,” Mladenov said during a meeting of the Security Council. “I call on my colleagues in the Middle East Quartet to work with the UN and quickly come forward with a proposal that will enable the Quartet to take up its mediation role and work jointly with countries in the region to advance the prospect of peace,” he added.
Immediately before the council met, its four European Union members -France, Germany, Belgium and Estonia - and former member Poland delivered a joint statement. It expressed willingness “to support and facilitate resumed direct and meaningful negotiations between the two parties, to resolve all final status issues and achieve a just and lasting peace.” The EU members said they are also ready to engage immediately with Israel’s new government and key parties.