Prime Minister António Costa today called for an end to Israel’s attacks on Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, so that one can return to a path where “peace is possible”.
“Everyone defends the ceasefire and, more than the ceasefire, the creation of living conditions between peoples and states and that is the position of Portugal. It is necessary for Israel to stop these attacks and we can return to a point where the path to peace is possible and this path to conflict does not worsen“, Said the Portuguese Prime Minister in response to journalists.
The leader of the Portuguese Government was speaking in Paris where he participates in the Summit on the Future of African Economies, organized by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, having met this morning with the President of Egypt, Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi, in a meeting in which the situation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was discussed.
The high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, convened for Tuesday a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers by videoconference to discuss the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
Rio condemns attacks in Gaza and calls for ceasefire
This Monday, the president of the PSD, Rui Rio, also referred to his position on the conflict in the Middle East to a draft resolution by the Social Democrats appealing to the ceasefire and dialogue.
“I don’t know if it has already entered, but I think a draft resolution has already entered precisely to condemn the situation at this moment and to appeal to both parties for a ceasefire and to end the conflict and do everything through dialogue”, stated.
In a visit “by coincidence” to the Holocaust Museum, in Porto, the social-democratic leader said that in this matter, the Portuguese Government also has a responsibility added by being, at the moment, leading the European Union, which gives it an “additional strength”.
Despite this, Rio recognizes that “it is not easy to calm the conflict for a country like Portugal” and or even for the European space.
The fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the most serious since 2014, claimed at least 174 deaths in Gaza, including 47 children, and another 10 in Israel.
The fighting began on May 10, after weeks of tension between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem, which culminated in clashes at the Esplanade of Mosques, Islam’s third holy place next to Judaism’s holiest place.
The massive launch of rockets by armed groups in Gaza towards Israel is opposed to systematic bombing by Israeli forces against the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict dates back to the founding of the State of Israel, whose independence was proclaimed on May 14, 1948.
The 27 EU countries often find it difficult to find a common position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with countries such as Germany, Austria or Slovenia firmly supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, while others urge the Hebrew state to demonstrate restraint.