EU is a ‘True Partner and Friend’: Abbas

Palestinian Leader Abbas in a press briefing with the EU foreign affairs diplomat Federica Mogherini. EU Photo
Palestinian Leader Abbas in a press briefing with the EU foreign affairs diplomat Federica Mogherini. EU Photo

The President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has urged the European Union to recognize the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mahmoud Abbas addressed the EU foreign ministers in a meeting. He said the European Union is a ‘true partner and friend’ of Palestine.

The Palestinian leader urged the EU bloc to enhance its political efforts to solve the crisis of Middle East.

The PA leader Mr. Abbas said the recognition of Palestine state wouldn’t disrupt the resumption of negotiations” with Israel.

It “would encourage the Palestinian people to keep hoping for peace and to wait until peace is brought about,” Mahmoud Abbas added.

“Firm commitment of the EU to the two-state solution with Jerusalem as shared capital of the two states: the state of Israel and the state of Palestine. This is not the time to disengage,” said EU’s chief Foreign Affairs diplomat Federica Mogherini.

Later on, Monday, he said, “The Europeans agreed with us about the issue of Jerusalem … they understand it but they have not made a decision about the recognition yet because it needs another meeting.”

His comments followed the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the state of Israel where he gave a speech in the Israeli parliament on the same day.

The U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reiterated the announcement of the U.S. President that his country will move to open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of 2019.

He said in the Knesset that the move to open an embassy in Jerusalem is speeding up. The U.S. officials said earlier that the process to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem might take three to four years.

The U.S. move to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been controversial ever since Donald Trump announced the move.

Reiterating the announcement of Donald Trump, Mike Pence announced in Knesset that Jerusalem is ‘the capital of the state of Israel.’

“America stands with Israel,” Pence said, undeterred by the disruption of the Arab-Israeli members of the Parliament who chanted slogans against the U.S. move.

“We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause. Your values are our values, and your fight is our fight.”

“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the United States Embassy in Jerusalem — and that United States Embassy will open before the end of next year,” Mike Pence said in the Knesset.

“I am here to convey a simple message from the hearts of the American people — America stands with Israel.”

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