PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with the Head of the Division for Bilateral and EU relations on the Middle East at the German Foreign Office Udo Volz at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.
He was accompanied by the Representative of the Federal Republic of Germany in Palestine Peter Beerwerth.
The meeting focused on the latest developments in Palestine, including steps of reconciliation and domestic realities on the ground.
Dr. Ashrawi affirmed the significance of Germany as a vital part of a European role and leadership model in rescuing the two-state solution and achieving an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Both parties reviewed the latest political and global developments, including Israeli violations, talks about an American deal and the imperative of multilateral engagement to hold Israel to account.
The discussion also raised various regional issues and their impact on the Palestinian question.
Following her meeting with the German diplomats, Dr. Ashrawi addressed a visiting delegation of German journalists and media representatives and led a candid discussion on the current global and regional developments and Israel’s systematic and willful efforts to destroy the two-state solution with the aim of establishing ‘Greater Israel’ on historical Palestine.
Dr. Ashrawi denounced the expansion of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise and its increasing escalations and violations in and around Occupied Jerusalem, and said, “Undoubtedly, Israel is jeopardizing the chances for peace and creating facts on the ground to render the two-state solution impossible.”
Furthermore, she stressed that Israel’s decision to set up checkpoints and security cameras in the old city of Jerusalem and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge of $57 million to build settler-bypass and apartheid roads on stolen Palestinian land for illegal settlers would only result in more violence and instability in the region and beyond.
In that context, Dr. Ashrawi called on the European Union to respect its own legislation and exhibit the political will and courage necessary to curb Israel’s violations: “Instead of providing Israel with preferential treatment by means of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, the European Neighbourhood Policy and the Horizon 2020 Association Agreement, EU member-states should adopt serious steps to ensure Israeli compliance with their own laws, as well as with international law and international humanitarian law.”
They also reviewed the current status of reconciliation and the importance of revitalizing the Palestinian political system and holding parliamentary, presidential and national elections, as well as the convening of the Palestinian National Council and the inclusion of women and youth in the political system.
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi conducted a separate meeting with Philip Himberg, the Artistic Director of the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, in which they discussed the thriving culture and arts movement in Palestine.
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