EU trying to get PA to soften UN resolution

European diplomats concerned Palestinian UN state-recognition bid would break EU consensus, highlight disunity.

August 3, 2011 01:17
2 minute read.
European Union ministers in Luxembourg

European Union ministers in Luxembourg 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )


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European diplomats are trying to convince the Palestinian Authority to significantly water down the statehood recognition resolution it’s expected to bring to the UN in September to ensure consensus EU support, senior diplomatic officials told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

According to the officials, the EU is interested in seeing a resolution brought to the General Assembly that can be supported by all 27 EU member states, and not a resolution that would split the EU and highlight disunity when the EU is interested in projecting the perception of a body that has a single, unified foreign policy.

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The Europeans are lobbying the Palestinians to bring a “softer” resolution to the UN General Assembly – if they do intend to go that route – that would recognize the right of a Palestinian state, one that would live in peace and security alongside Israel, without outright recognizing that such a state exists now.

Such a resolution, Israeli officials said, would not differ significantly from similar resolutions that have been passed by the General Assembly a number of times in the past.

The Europeans are looking for a formula that would enable countries like Germany and Italy, which have said they were opposed to unilateral Palestinian steps in the UN, to vote as a bloc with countries like Ireland and Portugal, widely expected to support a Palestinian state resolution.

One senior diplomatic official said that while the Palestinians were eager to get the Europeans on board, and that getting the world’s democracies to vote for that resolution – not only the world’s Islamic and developing countries – would be an achievement, they may not be willing to water down the proposal to the degree necessary to get the EU to vote for it as a bloc.

In November 2009 the EU split at the General Assembly over whether to vote in favor of adopting the Goldstone Commission Report on Operation Cast Lead, with five EU countries voting for adopting the resolution, seven voting against the resolution and 15 abstaining.

Those voting against Israel were Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Portugal and Slovenia, and those voting with Israel were the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia.

In the intervening two years, Israel’s relations with Cyprus and Malta have improved dramatically, largely as a result of the deterioration in ties with Turkey.

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