Palestinian bid legitimate, says EU parliament

STRASBOURG: The European parliament pressed the United States and the European Union on Thursday to respond to the “legitimate” Palestinian demand to be represented as a state at the United Nations.

With Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in limbo, the European MPs made their plea in a resolution adopted in a show of hands ahead of a US-EU summit in Washington on Nov.28.

The parliament urged the United States and the EU to “address the legitimate demand of the Palestinians to be represented as a state at the United Nations as a result of negotiations within the UN framework.”

The parliament had asked the 27 EU states to be united on the issue as governments diverged over whether to back the Palestinian bid.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full UN membership on Sept.23 despite US and Israeli opposition.

Britain and France, which have veto power at the UN Security Council, have declared that they would abstain if the 15-member world body votes on the application.

Separately on Thursday, Palestinian officials denied reports claiming that they were willing to freeze their statehood bid at the United Nations if Israel handed over tax collection funds it had withheld over the Palestinian National Authority’s acceptance into the UN’s educational panel.

On Wednesday, a European diplomat said that the PNA offered the United States a deal, saying it would freeze all moves to achieve full membership for “Palestine” in various UN agencies until the end of January, while the United States and Israel would resume transferring it funds.

( / 17.11.2011)

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