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EP calls on EU to recognize Palestine state

European Parliament Hosts conference on Palestine
European Parliament Hosts conference on Palestine
BRUSSELS, March 6 (KUNA) -- A conference on the illegal Israeli settlements, hosted by the European Parliament (EP) here Wednesday stressed that the only viable solution to the Palestine question is a two-state solution and it urged the European Union to recognize the state of Palestine.
Riyadh Mansour, Palestine's ambassador to the UN, said what is needed at this moment is to look at a collective way to save the global consensus on a two-state solution to the Palestine question.
"You have a responsibility in Europe to defend this global consensus and to recognize Palestine you need to send a strong message to Washington that what we have achieved in recent years cannot be thrown in the garbage," he said.
"The responsibility of defending the international law is not the responsibility of the Palestinians, but of the whole world. Palestinian people are sick and tired of the Israeli occupation," he stressed.
Wajid Khan, British MEP said Israeli settlements are illegal and against international law.
Ismat Jahan, permanent observer of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to European Union noted that the cause of Palestine is a fundamental issue for OIC and that it support s two-state solution.
Abdulrahim Alfarra, ambassador of state of Palestine in Brussels, asked, "how long we have to wait" for the EU to recognize the Palestine state.
"Israel does not understand the condemnation but we have to do something to make Israel understand that the EU intends to do something. The moment has come to recognize the Palestine state which will make Israel understand the message", he said.
Eugen Freund MEP from Austria said he is disappointed on lack of negotiations on Palestine, "The two state solution is going nowhere. I was dreaming of one-state where both the Israeli and Palestinians live side by side. The second-best solution has to be two state.," he added.
Ali Goutali director for Palestine and Al Quds affairs at the OIC General Secretariat in his intervention on behalf of the OIC Secretary General Dr. Youssef bin Ahmad Al Othaimeen called on EU member states to recognize the state of Palestine.
"This will consolidate European role on the internationally supported two state solution" and he called for violation of the sanctity of the al Aqsa mosque by Israel to be stopped.
He warned that continued violation could lead to unpredictable repercussions on the peace process.
Maria Arena MEP from Belgium said Europe thinks the Israeli settlements are illegal. "The EP has a majority in supporting the two-state solution. The first priority is to put pressure to stop settlements. There can be no solution with settlements," she said.
The conference titled "expansion of Israeli settlements in the Palestinian occupied territories, particularly East Jerusalem, was organized by OIC mission to EU in cooperation with the embassy of Palestine in Brussels and hosted by British MEP Wajid Khan.
Alexis Deswaef lawyer and former president of the Belgian human rights league said everyone agrees that the two' state solution it is the best solution. Any other solution would mean the end of the Israeli state, he warned.
Ahmad al Majdalani senior executive member of the PLO executive committee said more than 40 percent of West Bank territory is under the Israeli settlements.
He added recognition of the Palestine state would help to promote the peace process. (end) nk.hs