PA urges all EU members to recognize Palestinian state

Erekat: Two-state solution was a painful Palestinian concession.

PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.  (photo credit: REUTERS)
PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT Mahmoud Abbas attends a ceremony marking the 15th anniversary of the death of his predecessor Yasser Arafat, in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority has increased its efforts to convince all European Union members to recognize a Palestinian state in response to US and Israeli policies and decisions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday called on the EU to “collectively recognize” a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas made his appeal during a meeting in Ramallah with Spanish diplomat and politician Miguel Moratinos, who also serves as the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.
The EU is the single largest donor of foreign aid to the Palestinians.
PA officials have been waging a diplomatic offensive to convince the union to recognize a Palestinian state – with east Jerusalem as its capital – since US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent announcement that settlements are “not inconsistent with international law” has prompted the PA to step up its campaign to gain EU recognition of a Palestinian state.
Emphasizing Europe’s role as a major world power, Abbas called for “collective European recognition of the State of Palestine in order to serve peace and the two-state solution,” the PA’s official news agency Wafa said.
Abbas briefed the senior UN official on the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and the “real crisis resulting from Israeli measures and American decisions that contradict international, legitimate resolutions,” Wafa added.
“Abbas also stressed the importance of the role that the international community could play in preserving the principles of international law and international legitimacy, on which the peace process was based, to end the occupation and establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 borders,” the agency said.
Of the 193 UN member states, 138 have recognized the Palestinian state.
However, only nine out of the 28 members of the EU have recognized “Palestine” as a state. In 2014, Sweden became the first member to recognize such a state. Malta and Cyprus had recognized the state prior to joining the union.
In 2009, the EU confirmed the Palestinian right to self-determination, including the right to a viable and peaceful sovereign state. It supports a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines, with only minor, mutually agreed upon modifications. The EU also considers Jerusalem as the future capital of both Israel and a Palestinian state.
PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat also urged all EU members to recognize a Palestinian state.
Erekat renewed his call to the international community, particularly the EU members, to “define their position to protect the two-state solution and deter Israeli crimes.”
Speaking during a symposium in Ramallah with Moratinos, he urged the EU to play an “active role as a major force capable of creating a new political reality.”
According to Erekat, the “two-state solution was a painful concession on the part of the Palestinians for the sake of peace.” The failure of the two-state solution, he added, “is a failure of the will of the international community.”
Last week, Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn also called upon the EU to recognize the Palestinian state. His statement came in response to Pompeo’s announcement regarding the settlements.
“Recognizing Palestine as a state would be neither a favor nor a carte blanche, but rather a mere recognition of the right of the Palestinian people for its own state,” Asselborn told Reuters, adding that such a recognition “would not be meant against Israel.”
“The recognition of Palestine by the whole EU would be a signal that the Palestinians have a need for a homeland – a state – just like the Israelis,” he told the German newspaper Tagesspiegel am Sonntag.