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What are European Union’s plans if Trump fails on Mideast peace?

If US President Donald Trump fails to advance his Middle East conference initiative, the European Union will advance its own initiative for a third Paris conference.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is furious about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision on April 25 not to meet with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, following Gabriel’s meeting with left-wing Israeli human rights organizations. According to a senior source close to Federica Mogherini, the European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, the EU heard extremely harsh criticism in that line from the chancellor’s office in Berlin. Netanyahu’s move is seen, both in Brussels and Berlin, as a slap in the face of the European leadership and as a signal that Israel rejects European involvement in any further US-led peace initiatives.

The official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that since Donald Trump was elected as the 45th US president, Netanyahu has turned more combative than ever before. “He is directly opposed — in rhetoric and in deed — to a two-state solution,” said the source. “Despite the relative calm in the West Bank and Gaza, the EU sees the situation as extremely unstable. The Israeli settlement construction restraint is a hoax. On the Palestinian side, there are increasingly more militant voices in Fatah for a possible uprising.”

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