High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union/Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Brussels on Wednesday.
High Representative Borrell stressed the EU’s continued support to the Palestinian people and to Palestinian state-building. He reiterated the EU’s continued commitment to a just, negotiated, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the two-state solution, and the need to relaunch meaningful negotiations in order to revive the peace process as soon as possible.
The High Representative reiterated that the EU stands ready to work with the parties and with all international partners to this end, including through a revitalized Middle East Quartet.
High Representative Borrell and Prime Minister Shtayyeh also discussed the situation on the ground, including the EU’s concerns on continued settlement expansions, demolitions, and evictions, as well as the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. The High Representative also stressed the need for Palestinian factions to resume serious efforts towards intra-Palestinian reconciliation and set a new date for the postponed national elections.
The High Representative recalled the EU’s support to civil society organizations that contribute to peace efforts and confidence-building between Israelis and Palestinians.
He stressed that listing six Palestinian organizations as terrorist organizations by the Israeli Ministry of Defence is a matter of serious concern. The EU will very closely examine the allegations. Finally, he added that civil society organizations are a force in promoting international law, human rights, and democratic values, across the world and in Palestine.
For his part, Palestinian Prime Minister D. Mohammad Shtayyeh called on the European Union to put effective pressure on Israel to apply the signed agreement with the Palestinians, in addition to taking practical and effective European measures to stop settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Shtayyeh also renewed his call to the European Union to pressure Israel to allow the elections to be held in Jerusalem, like the rest of the Palestinian territories, as candidates and electors, in addition to the need for international pressure on Israel to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, support the reconstruction process, and guarantees that what is being reconstructed will not be destroyed.
Shtayyeh stressed the importance of the European Union’s recognition of the State of Palestine to protect the two-state solution from evading, which may become unworkable with the increase of settlement and land confiscation.
Earlier today D. Mohammad Shtayyeh today urged Europe to pressure Israel to respect international law and human rights.
Speaking during a meeting with European Parliament Vice President, Pedro Silva Pereira at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Premier Shtayyeh called on Europe to exert pressure on Israel to oblige it to respect international law, human rights, and the signed agreements particularly with regards to allowing elections in Jerusalem.
Shtayyeh also called on Europe to pressurize Israel into handing over the bodies of those Palestinians killed by its troops.
He stressed that Israel’s policy of sabotaging the two-state solution through the consolidation of colonial settlement construction is leading to a reality where Israel becomes an apartheid state.
He renewed his call for Europe to take a decision on banning colonial settlement products into EU markets.
The Premier expressed his appreciation of the EP’s vote in favor of offering ongoing support to the Palestinian people while noting the importance that Europe plays an effective role in the peace process and fills the political vacuum.
EP Vice President, Pedro Silva Pereira, reiterated the EP’s position that Israeli colonial settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to the two-state solution while stressing EP’s support for the two-state solution and the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shtayyeh met Vice-President for EP’s Social and Democrats Group, Pedro Marquez, in addition to several heads of EP’s committees at EP headquarters in the attendance of Palestine’s ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg Abdul Rahim al-Farra.