Barcelona, Nov 27 (EFE).- Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares affirmed on Monday that the Palestinian Authority is the only credible “partner for peace” in the Middle East.
Albares called for the effective return of the Palestinian Authority to the war-torn Gaza Strip, replacing the ruling Islamist Hamas group.
The foreign minister made these remarks at the 8th regional forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), where foreign ministers from the Euro-Mediterranean region convened for a two-day conference in Barcelona. Israel chose to skip the meeting.
Emphasizing that the Palestinian Authority is the only feasible partner for peace, Albares apparently sought to address the controversy after Israeli accusations that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez supported terrorism by Hamas.
Albares advocated for the “two-state solution once and for all,” calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
He highlighted Spain’s proposal to convene an international peace conference at the earliest opportunity. “It is with this objective that Spain has proposed convening an international peace conference as soon as possible.”
The minister asserted that Hamas cannot lead Gaza as it lacks an agenda for peaceful coexistence and cannot play a role in implementing the two-state solution.
Albares urged the international community to encourage the Palestinian Authority to replace Hamas in Gaza.
He called on the world community to act swiftly and work towards an agreement that ensures peace and security in the region, condemning Hamas for its destructive actions, particularly the Oct. 7 attack, which he described as “the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s history.”
Albares called for the extension of a “humanitarian ceasefire” and demanded that Israel scrupulously respect international humanitarian law.
He expressed solidarity with the victims of the conflict and called for a definitive solution to the ongoing crisis.
“The death of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians is not acceptable,” he said, demanding a solution that “must be definitive this time.”
The Spanish minister’s statements align with those made by Prime Minister Sanchez during his recent visit to the Middle East, which sparked a protest from Israel.
Albares summoned the Israeli ambassador in Madrid, considering the accusations “especially serious.”
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the UfM, Nasser Kamel, and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Farhan also supported the “two-state solution” and condemned both the Oct. 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s actions, referring to them as “collective punishment” of the Palestinian population.
Approximately 30 people gathered outside the meeting venue with Palestinian flags, chanting slogans such as “Free Palestine” and “Boycott Israel.” EFE