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Abbas urges EU to recognize Palestinian right to self-determination

Feb. 25, 2019 11:11 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 25, 2019 1:23 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that any plans that are not based on the resolutions of international legitimacy will not succeed as long as they do not result in an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Addressing the first Arab-European Summit being held in the Egyptiancity of Sharm al-Sheikh, Abbas stressed that attempts by the US administration and the Israeli government to normalize relations with Arab and Islamic countries will not bring peace and security to Israel.

He added that implementing the Arab peace initiative, presented in 2002, is the only way to achieve peace.

Abbas called on the European Union and its member states to take practical steps to achieve peace, beginning with “confronting the Israeli settlement projects in the occupied land and consolidating the vision of a two-state solution with irreversible political and legal steps, including recognition by the EU member states of the State of Palestine.”

He also called for holding an international peace conference, as well as forming an international multilateral mechanism to take care of the negotiations that should end the longest occupation of modern history and achieve peace and security for all.

Abbas urged EU countries to activate Article 2 of the European-Israeli Association Agreement of 1995, and arbitrate the issue of Israel's deduction of Palestinian tax revenues, as well as issues related to human rights violations.

He then called on Arab and European countries to form a financial safety net for the Palestinian budget, in order to enable the Palestinians to face the Israeli actions.

Abbas continued to express hope that the EU would help organize and monitor the parliamentary elections being prepared in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

He pointed out that the US Trump Administration encourages Israel to act as a state above the law, "thus the United States is not qualified to play the role of mediator alone in the peace process after all these actions which are against the Palestinian right and international legitimacy."

Abbas asked, "Is it not time for the European countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine to do so?" and stressed that "not to recognize Palestinian right to self-determination is a step contrary to your values and European principles."

Abbas emphasized the fact that the Palestinian people will not disappear from existence and will remain steadfast in their land, build their state institutions, and continue their legitimate struggle for freedom and independence.

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