Palestinians need to keep talking to U.S. despite Trump remarks: Dutch Foreign Min.

Halbe Zijlstra (Source: Wikimedia/Marjon Zijlstra Fotografie)
. Halbe Zijlstra (Source: Wikimedia/Marjon Zijlstra Fotografie)

The new Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra undertook an introductory visit in the Israeli and Palestinian territories last Wednesday and Thursday. During his visit he met with the tormented Palestinians of the West Bank. Now that the peace process with Israel is sent to an halt, Palestinians ask for help to the Netherlands.

Now that Trump upended decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital last December, Palestinians are convinced that the U.S. can not continue being the independent mediator in the peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine,. During Zijlstra's meeting with the Palestinian Foreign Minister Maliki, the Dutch minister urged Maliki to keep talking to the U.S. despite Trump's remarks. Zijlstra is convinced that the U.S. should keep its active role in the peace process between the two countries, newspaper AD reported.

The Palestinian youth has been protesting against Trump's decision for weeks now. Their confrontations with the Israeli police resulted in dozens of deaths and injured.

Newspaper Reformatorisch Dagblad recalled Netherland's position on the Isreali-Palestinian complicated situation: the co-existence of a Palestinian state next to Israel is the only possible solution foreseen by Holland.   

When asked about his country's relationship with Isreal and Palestine, the minister's reply focused mainly on the economical cooperation that binds the three countries, aimed to strengthen the local economy and increase the welfare; "The Netherlands still has a good relationship with both Israel and Palestine. We are now facilitating their negotiations on cooperation regarding food, water and electricity. We expect to keep doing that".

President Trump also announced that he intends to cut the funds to the UNRWA, the U.N. agency dedicated to the Palestinian refugees. When asked an opinion on the matter, Zijlstra replied: "I don't think that this organization should become the subject of a political discussion. the UNRWA is important for the stability of the region. They care for the schooling, housing and the health care facilities of the Palestinian refugees. If we stop providing that these people will have even less perspectives. And we have seen what that could lead to".   

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