Middle East peace process

In the peace process between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities, the Netherlands favours a two-state solution, which would enable a secure Israel and an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian state to exist peacefully side by side.

Two-state solution in the Middle East

If efforts to secure a two-state solution are successful, Israel and the Palestinian state will recognise each other's right to exist. Such an agreement would be based on the borders that existed before 4 June 1967 (i.e. before the Six-Day War). The Palestinian state would consist of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Israel would then consist of the remaining area of what was historically Palestine.

The security of both Israel and the future Palestinian state must be guaranteed. For this to be possible there will need to be negotiations about the status of Jerusalem and about the refugee issue. The United States, the United Nations, the EU and Russia together form the Middle East Quartet. They play a leading role in the negotiations.

The Netherlands regards the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories as illegal. They are in conflict with international law and pose a serious threat to the peace process. The Netherlands wishes to invest in its relationships with both Israel and the Palestinian authorities, in the hope that this will contribute to a definitive solution.

The role of the Netherlands in developments in the Arab region

There has been evidence of growing democracy and respect for human rights in many Arab countries since 2011. The Netherlands is capitalising on these developments to help boost the peace process in the Middle East, and is keen to support:

  • social and economic reforms;
  • democratisation (including free and fair elections);
  • the development of the rule of law;
  • respect for human rights
  • economic development.

Sometimes the Netherlands teams up with one other country (bilaterally), but it also works jointly with several other countries at once (multilaterally), for instance in the EU, the UN and NATO.

Europe has significant interests in the Arab world, particularly in regard to security, prosperity and freedom. Countries in this region are key trading partners and markets for the EU. They control trading routes and the supply of fossil fuels.