Reject unilateral Palestinian statehood, European Parliament members urge EU


PARIS (JTA) — More than 100 members of the European Parliament signed a letter urging the European Union to reject the unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood.

The letter, sent Monday by 106 members of the pan-European governing body, to Lady Catherine Ashton, the head of foreign affairs and security policy for the EU and the 27 EU member states, asks Ashton "to discourage unilateral Palestinian efforts to attain UN recognition." 

"A unilateral move will not bring reconciliation; it will not bring stability; it will not bring peace," the letter reads. "Rather, it will most likely fell the peace process for good."

Only a return to negotiations can solve the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the letter says.

European Parliament members from the five largest political groups in the European Union endorsed the letter, which was co-signed by many prominent members of the parliament, including Gabriele Albertini, chairman of its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Ashton, who is in Washington this week for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet, recently said that recent events have prompted a renewed focus on negotiations.

"I do not underestimate the challenge, but my objective for Monday’s meeting of the Quartet is to try to adopt a statement that will help the Israelis and Palestinians make progress and allow for a return to the negotiating table as soon as possible," she said, according to the New Europe newsweekly.

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