EU must be united in its support for the recognition of a Palestinian observer state at the United Nations

Joint statement by Sergei Stanishev (President of the Party of European Socialists) and Hannes Swoboda (President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament), 27 November 2012.

On 29 November, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will present the bid for Palestine to become a ’non-member observer state‘ at the United Nations General Assembly. This is a unique occasion for the European Union and its member states to express their support for the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people to have their own state.

The Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (the S&D Group) are firmly committed to the two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders with the State of Israel. Moreover, we stress the need for an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine which co-exists alongside Israel in peace and security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

The right of Palestinians to have their own independent state, recognised by the international community within the United Nations system, is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist.

The time has come for action. Further delay would only fuel further escalation of tension, creating fertile ground for radicalism and extremism. The PES and the S&D Group believe that peace, diplomacy and respect for human rights and dignity constitute the only way to a credible, sustainable and equitable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The only viable path towards just and lasting peace is the immediate resumption of peace talks which reflect the legitimate demands and aspirations of both the people of Israel and of Palestine for peace, security and prosperity. The current resolution can have a significant and positive impact in this regard.

A strong mandate from member states for High Representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton should be the basis for an ambitious role for the European Union in its efforts to find peace in the Middle East.

The European Union and its member states must say ‚yes‘ to the recognition of the State of Palestine. By doing so, they will both enhance their international credibility and lay the foundations for renewed peace efforts.