European Parliament Backs Palestinian Statehood BidBulgaria in EU | September 29, 2011, Thursday // 16:05| views
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) waves to a cheering crowd on a square outside the Mukata, the offices and administrative centre of the Palestinian Authority, in Ramallah, the West Bank, 25 September 2011. EPA/BGNES
The EU Parliament has declared the bid of the Palestinian Authority for gaining international statehood recognition through the UN to be "legitimate."
"The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders", says an EP resolution, adopted by a show of hands Thursday.
The MEPs believe that a solution to the Palestinian statehood issue should be found within a year. A the same time, they think, however, that Palestinian statehood should result from negotiations, during the current UN General Assembly session.
The European Parliament reiterated its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states, and stresses that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should resume without delay.
The resolution underlines that "no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted".
The EP also called on the EU's foreign affairs High Representative and member states to find a common EU position on the Palestinian request and to avoid divisions among Member States. MEPs also underline that member states and the international community should reconfirm their strong commitment to the security of the Israel.
The MEPs further urged the Israeli Government to stop all construction and extension of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. MEPs also insist that rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip should cease and a permanent truce should be agreed.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, acting in his capacity as head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, formally submitted the membership bid to the UN on September 23, when he also addressed the General Assembly.
The US has threatened to veto the move if it wins backing from nine of the Council's 15 members.
That would leave the Palestinians with the option of seeking a lesser status of nonmember observer state at the General Assembly, a forum where they would expect to win the necessary simple majority of those present and voting.
Although that would be a largely symbolic victory, the Palestinians hope to use their elevated status on the international stage to press Israel for concessions in any future negotiations.
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