PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi hosted a diplomatic briefing for twenty-two EU Consul Generals and Representatives at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.
The candid discussion focused on the implications of the International Peace Conference and its Joint Declaration and the imperative of follow-up action, in particular comprehensive mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of implementation and the power to exercise arbitration and accountability.
Dr. Ashrawi gave a thorough presentation on the latest political developments, the deteriorating conditions on the ground and Israel’s continued violations of international law and Palestinian human rights. She stressed the importance of multilateral engagement and a vigorous European role to hold Israel accountable and to contribute effectively to ending the occupation and to establishing the independent and viable Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Dr. Ashrawi expressed grave concern regarding the stated intentions of President-elect Donald Trump’s administration on the annexation of Jerusalem and the illegal settlements: “The relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be disastrous and cause violence and instability throughout the region and beyond.” In that context, Dr. Ashrawi confirmed “the need for constructive preemptive moves rather than damage control after the fact.”
Dr. Ashrawi also stressed, “All those who claim to support the two-state solution are called upon to recognize the state of Palestine.”
In addition, the dialogue focused on domestic realities, and Dr. Ashrawi affirmed the overall commitment to genuine reconciliation on the basis of the PLO platform and to forming a government of national unity in order to oversee political elections, the reconstruction of Gaza and the reunification of the Palestinian public institutions. She said, “Elections are a vital requirement for relegitimizing and updating the political system in Palestine.”
The diplomats also raised the issue of nonviolence as the most effective means of resistance to the military occupation, and they urged a more effective public diplomacy and representation in order to have a more persuasive dissemination of the Palestinian narrative.
The meeting participants also reviewed Palestine-EU relations and stressed the importance of future consultations and cooperation.