EU Council agrees to Spain’s Middle East peace conference proposal

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The Council of the European Union has accepted the Spanish proposal to hold a peace conference in about six months on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Spain’s acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said.

Madrid holds the EU Council’s rotating presidency until the end of this year.

In a meeting of the bloc’s 27 governments this week, Spain had pressed for the EU to demand an immediate ceasefire, but the language was opposed by some countries, Sanchez told a news conference in Brussels.

He said that instead, the member states agreed to call for “humanitarian pauses” and the opening of aid corridors for the Gaza civilians, as a way to reach a consensus.

In exchange for the compromise, the bloc accepted Madrid’s peace conference proposal, which includes a renewed push for the two-state solution to the conflict, Sanchez said.

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