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The solution to the conflict between Israel and Hamas must involve the creation of two states. This was detailed by the Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman Safadi, in a press conference after the meeting of the 8th Regional Forum of the Union for Mediterranean (UfM), held in Barcelona this Monday. "This war is not a religious war, it is a war, a conflict, that is rooted in there being one country that is occupying another. A country that acts as if five million Palestinians weren't there, as if they did not exist or had no rights. It has to be guaranteed that the mistakes of the last few weeks are not repeated. Israelis cannot have security, if the Palestinians do not have it."

Spanish foreign minister José Manuel Albares, the high representative of the EU, Josep Borrell, and the secretary general of the UfM, Nasser Kamel, also took part in this press conference which followed the meeting.

The result of an occupation

Safadi insisted that "we all condemn October 7th but all this is the result of an occupation". Thus, he emphasized that the rights of the Palestinians, and their history, have been denied and that this fact is also terrorism. "Some talk about self-defence, we talk about very clear aggression. This is the definition, the very clear definition of genocide." "We all want a peace that lasts, and that does not mean that the occupation must be consolidated."

Foro Regional de la Unió pel Mediterrani foto familia / foto: Carlos Baglietto
Mediterranean foreign ministers at today's meeting at Barcelona's Sant Pau complex / Carlos Baglietto

"We have to act quickly because this war is not only killing innocent Palestinians, but also the 30 years of work that began here in Spain. This work has become insignificant because there are fewer and fewer people who believe in the peace process. That's why we say that the two-state solution means ending the occupation," he stressed. And the direction is clear, extend the ceasefire as much as possible, to propose a two-state solution.

The two-state solution is not new. In fact, despite the discrepancies that have existed but have not emerged, Safadi asserted that if the two-state solution has not yet been implemented, it is because "Israel does not believe in this solution." "Despite the fact that there are people who try to say that this meeting held today is to take sides, it is to talk about peace, peace in the interest of the Israelis and the Palestinians." The Jordanian foreign minister also noted that "despite the disagreements, we have agreed on fundamental issues. We must be able to talk about a ceasefire, but the killings must end."

Foro Regional de la Unió pel Mediterrani albares / foto: Carlos Baglietto
José Manuel Albares addresses the UfM gathering in Barcelona / Carlos Baglietto

The role of the Palestinian Authority and new elections

For his part, Albares emphasized that the forum has put the Gaza crisis on the table and the importance of acting together to put an end to the tragedy "so that it never happens again". In this respect, he noted that it is vitally important to reach a "definitive solution" to a situation that explodes periodically. Thus, he insisted on the idea of a peace conference that will be the best framework to materialize the state of Palestine and that of Israel. He took the opportunity to underline that they condemn the loss of Palestinian civilians in the same way as the murders by Hamas on October 7th. "We leave Barcelona with a message of peace and hope that stability will return to the Middle East," he concluded.

In turn, Borrell sought to highlight the humanitarian crisis that has arrived following the brutal attacks by Hamas and insisted that the problem will not have a military solution. "Israel will not be able to live in peace until a solution is reached in which people live in two states."

Foro Regional de la Unió pel Mediterrani borrell / Foto: Carlos Baglietto
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Barcelona this Monday / Carlos Baglietto

In this regard, he also recalled that the body which serves in Gaza is the Palestinian Authority, as the Palestinian foreign minister, Riad Malik, also emphasised. Thus, he insisted that it is important that the Palestinian Authority can lead this period and that elections are held. Israel should also cooperate, he said, in this process. Borrell also insisted on the fact that this is not a war of civilizations. "The Palestinian Authority alone cannot do it. It must be with the international community. I don't see another actor more legitimate to take control of Gaza and ensure that terrorism is eradicated and people live as human beings."