European Parliament president bans speakers with links to terrorist groups

“We are happy to have been able to facilitate the amendment of such a horrific wrongdoing in Europe and prevent it from ever happening again.”

November 24, 2017 03:16
2 minute read.
European Parliament, Strasbourg

European Parliament building, Strasbourg, France. (photo credit: ARND WIEGMANN)

Speakers with terrorist backgrounds or links to organizations on the European Union’s list of terrorist groups will not be allowed to speak at the European Parliament, according to its President Antonio Tajani.

“We should not allow members of organizations involved in terrorist acts to speak inside the Parliament,” he wrote in a letter to European Parliamentary Member Anders Vistisen who is the first vice chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Tajani issued a letter about the matter in the aftermath of a talk given in September by Palestinian terrorist hijacker Leila Khaled at a conference in the European Parliament building on the role of women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance.

It was penned on November 14 and given to The Jerusalem Post on Thursday by attorney Yifa Segal, director of the International Legal Forum.

She said she had been a part of a group that has worked to ensure that terrorist speakers are not welcome in the EU.

Khaled took part in a hijacking in 1969 and again in 1970 and is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is on the EU terrorist list.

Since then, Tajani said there has been endorsement of his proposal “to systematically deny access to all individuals mentioned in the updated [EU terrorist list], as well l as to member of organizations lists there.”

Tajani said that Khaled was invited by a parliament member. She was not registered on the list the matter did not come up when she went through the accreditation process, he wrote.

“I have reminded the members of the European Parliament as well as Parliament’s General Secretaries that every effort should be made to ensure that no listed person for representatives and entities mentioned in the Council are invited or admitted to Parliament nor promoted through event or audio visual means,” he said.

Vistisen and MEP Bas Belder said, “We welcome the European Parliament’s Bureau and thank and congratulate President Tajani for taking a strong resolute stand against terrorism and its incitement.”

Belder helped spearhead Vistisen’s initiative. Both men are members of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the parliament.

“We nevertheless urge the president and the Parliament’s Bureau to investigate if any irregularities have taken place during the [September event] and where appropriate, take necessary action, including holding those responsible accountable,” they said.

“At a time when Europe is experiencing the agonizing truth of terrorist attacks on its soil, it is our responsibility and duty to take a strong united stand against terrorism and its incitement,” they said.

Segal thanked the MEPs and welcomed the victory. “We are happy to have been able to facilitate the amendment of such a horrific wrongdoing in Europe and prevent it from ever happening again.”

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