EU parliament backs compromise resolution on Palestinian state

EU "supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced."

A Palestinian boy waves a flag in the West Bank (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Palestinian boy waves a flag in the West Bank
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The European Parliament adopted a resolution supporting Palestinian statehood in principle on Wednesday in a compromise motion that did not follow some European national legislatures in backing immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.
Following a deal among the main parties, the motion that was carried stated: "(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced."
Social Democrat, left-wing and Green members of the European Parliament had initially put forward motions for a symbolic vote on Wednesday to call on the EU's 28 members to recognize Palestine statehood now without conditions.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said Wednesday in response to the vote in the European Parliament that the solution to the Israel-Palestinian crisis will be found around the negotiating table, and not in one parliament or another.
Nachshon said that the Foreign Ministry noted that the parliament stipulated that recognition of a Palestinian state needed to come as the result of negotiations. 
Nevertheless, he said, "the very debate about the issue harms the chances of re-starting negotiations."
Israel's position is that if the Palestinians know that they will get recognition even without negotiations and compromise, then what incentive will they have to negotiate or compromise.

The EU move follows Sweden's decision in October to recognize Palestine and non-binding votes since then by parliaments in Britain, France and Ireland in favor of their recognition that demonstrated growing European impatience with the stalled peace process.
Some European countries have grown increasingly vocal in expressing frustration with Israel, which since the collapse of the latest US-sponsored talks in April has pressed on with building settlements in territory the Palestinians want for their future state.
However, the center-right European People's Party, the largest group in parliament, and the fourth largest group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, said recognition should only form part of a negotiated agreement with Israel.