The European Union welcomed the decision by the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday allowing Palestinians to carry out parliamentary elections in Jerusalem later this month. The EU "expects Israel to facilitate electoral operations, including movement of candidates and voting officials as well as of local and international observers," said Cristina Gallach, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. Solana also welcomed the decision by the Palestinian Authority to ensure security of the electoral operations and safety of voters, she said in a statement. "Elections are an essential step in the building of a democratic Palestinian state, in the perspective of the two state solution. They are an important milestone in the implementation of Palestinian roadmap obligations," Gallach said. Elections for the new Palestinian Legislative Council are planned for January 25.