Hazem Khairat, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel, urged Palestinians and Israelis on Thursday to resume negotiations and to make peace, warning that “there is not much time left.”
At Israel’s 16th annual Herzliya Conference, Khairat’s speech stressed that a two-state solution represented the only hope for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while also addressing a series of issues which he identified as roadblocks to peace, Ma’an reported.
Khairat insisted that despite the “tremendous challenges and crises” engulfing the region, the Palestinian issue should not be ignored.
Today I hosted the new Egyptian ambassador to Israel, Hazem Khairat. Welcome to Israel, Mr. Ambassador! pic.twitter.com/zSYdFOwlR7
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) February 29, 2016
Ma’an reported Khairat saying, “The current state of affairs represents only an example of tragic developments taking place in the last few years: The tension in Jerusalem, the deteriorating situation in the West Bank, including the settlements that are expanding in Area C, eroding the land of the future of the State of Palestine as well as the incursion in Area A and B”.
European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, echoed Khairat’s sentiments. “The possibility of a secure state of Israel and a viable state of Palestine living side by side is fading away,” Mogherini said.
All past efforts towards peace negotiations have failed to end the decades-long Israeli military occupation or bring Palestinians closer to an independent contiguous state, including the most recent spate of negotiations led by the US collapsed in April 2014.