Abbas urges European states to recognise ‘State of Palestine’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the EU-Arab League summit held under the theme "Investing in Stability" on 24 February 2019 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. [PALESTINIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the EU-Arab League summit held under the theme “Investing in Stability” on 24 February 2019 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday urged European states to play a more active role in the peace process and recognise a “State of Palestine”, reported the Times of Israel.

“Has the time not come for European states that have not yet recognised the State of Palestine to do so, especially in light of your belief in the two-state solution?” Abbas said in a short speech at a two-day summit of Arab and European leaders in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh.

“You have recognised Israel, supported it since its establishment and defended its security. That is your right. But if you’ll allow me to say this: Your not recognising the Palestinian right to self-determination in its state is a move that contradicts your values and your European principles”.

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According to Abbas, the recognition of a State of Palestine would not be a “substitute” for negotiations, but rather would encourage Palestinians to maintain hope for peace.

The Times of Israel reported that “Abbas also called on the Europeans to play a greater role in peace negotiations and repeated his frequent call for an international peace conference not under the auspices of the US”.

Abbas also reiterated his support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, the implementation of which he described as “the only way to achieve peace, and this is what all the Arabs are standing behind”.

(Source / 25.02.2019)

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