Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. Photo: Resul Rehimov / Anadolu Agency

The international community must help resolve the Israel-Palestinian issue by supporting a two-state solution, which is necessary to prevent the emergence of an apartheid state, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a conference in Rome on Friday.

“The Palestinians are still waiting for the international community to try to resolve the Palestinian problem that has been created by the international community,” with the foundation of Israel in 1948, Maliki said.

“Unfortunately, none of you is taking serious, credible and responsible steps to solve the problem,” Maliki told European and Middle Eastern leaders assembled at the MED Dialogues conference.

Maliki slammed the US government, “which has really sided with Israel, taken the wrong side of history, of justice.”

The Palestinians have already vowed to block US President Donald Trump’s peace plan and cut ties with his administration after his controversial decision in December to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel’s capital.

The Palestinians see Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and the global consensus has been that its status must be negotiated between the two sides.

Maliki slammed the US government, “which has really sided with Israel, taken the wrong side of history, of justice”

“If the Americans are not willing to do anything, Europe should do that,” Maliki said

“We should force the change to happen, that’s why we are pushing for a European role,” including backing an international peace conference.

“It’s not our responsibility to protect the two-state solution, it’s your responsibility,” he said, without which Israel would continue to develop separate systems for Israelis and Palestinians, as it already does with road networks and public transport.

“I don’t believe any of you will accept another apartheid regime to emerge in the 21st century,” Maliki said.

Israeli parliament speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party, was also attending the MED gathering and said the two sides should try to cooperate.

“If the idea of peace process is again some theory of two courageous leaders in a room shaking hands and signing an agreement, [but] that doesn’t work,” said Edelstein.

“The only way to get back to a situation where we can do something positive is cooperation in practical fields [like manufacturing or water management]. We don’t need a comprehensive agreement to cooperate,” he said.

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse

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