Palestine hails Munich Group’s peace conference efforts

Palestine has hailed the Munich Group’s efforts to hold an international peace conference in the Middle East, state radio reported.

The Voice of Palestine quoted Salman al-Herafi, Palestine’s Ambassador to France, as saying on Saturday that the efforts of the group “are an advanced step in supporting the convening of an international peace conference to solve the Palestinian cause”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Munich Group, or the Munich Format, refers to the Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, France, and Germany in February 2020 meeting on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference to discuss Israel-Palestine peace efforts.

Subsequent meetings took place in July 2020 via video conferencing, September 2020 in Jordan and January 2021 in Cairo.

Representatives from the UN, the US, and the European Union (EU) joined a series of the group’s meetings that were held in Paris in the last few weeks, and the most recent one was held two days ago, according to al-Herafi.

“Holding four meetings in recent weeks confirms the international eagerness to support the two-state solution and the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state on the territories occupied by Israel since 1967,” he said.

Al-Herafi said Palestine views with great interest the Munich Group’s efforts “to revive the peace process and to build a comprehensive and just peace that guarantees the rights of the Palestinian people”.

But he said the Munich Group is not an alternative to the Middle East Quartet, comprising the UN, EU, the US and Russia.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have remained stalled since it stopped in the spring of 2014 when the US sponsored it for nine months and ended without any breakthrough due to deep differences on the settlements, Jerusalem, and the borders of the Palestinian state.