S&Ds encourage and support Palestinian unity
Following a meeting today with Dr Nabil Shaath, chief foreign-policy adviser to the Palestinian president, leading S&D Group MEPs expressed support for Palestinian unity in the hope of achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians, in the framework of a negotiated two-state solution.
S&D Group vice-president Elena Valenciano said:
„Meeting a close friend from Palestine is always a pleasure. But today’s meeting was of importance beyond this pleasure. It confirmed that the efforts aimed at restoring Palestinian unity are genuine and serious. We strongly encourage this process, which should deliver solid democratic credentials for a renewed Palestinian leadership through presidential and parliamentary elections with the support of the international community. We also urge the Israeli government and the Knesset majority to refrain from decisions and actions that undermine the hope of peace, such as the continuous expansion of settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, the adoption of highly controversial legislation such as the citizenship law, or repeated attacks against pro-peace civil society organisations in the country.”
S&D Group vice-president Victor Boştinaru said:
„The recently announced agreement between Fatah and Hamas may be an important step towards Palestinian unity, which may open up new vistas towards a renewed peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, if key requirements are met, with the aim of achieving the two-state solution. The European Union must play a proactive political role in this regard in order not to miss a possible opportunity. But our most urgent duty is to use the momentum to alleviate the suffering of almost 2 million people in the Gaza Strip. The first step in this regard has to be the full return of the Palestinian Authority to Gaza, which should be accompanied by effective EU humanitarian aid and development assistance action in this area.”