EU parliament recognizes Palestinian state ′in principle′ | News | DW | 17.12.2014
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EU parliament recognizes Palestinian state 'in principle'

The European Parliament has adopted a resolution supporting Palestinian statehood in principle. The compromise motion did not back immediate recognition of a Palestinian state.

After discussions between the main parties in the European Parliament, a watered down motion on Palestine was carried by a two-thirds majority on Wednesday.

"(The European Parliament) supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced," the motion read.

The largest group in the parliament, the center-right European People's Party and the fourth largest group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, said recognition should only form part of a negotiated agreement with Israel.

Social Democrat, left-wing and Green members of the European Parliament had put forward motions for a symbolic vote on Wednesday. They called on the EU's 28 members to recognize Palestine statehood immediately, without conditions.

In October, Sweden voted to recognize Palestine. There were non-binding votes in favor of recognizing Palestine in Britain, France and Ireland in the following weeks as lawmakers expressed impatience with the stalled peace process in the Middle East. The last, US-sponsored, talks collapsed in April. Since then Israel has built settlements on land Palestinians claim for their future state.

Later on Wednesday, Jordan is to submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on behalf of the Palestinians on ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Separately, an EU court on Wednesday ruled that Palestinian group Hamas should be removed from the EU's list of terrorist organisations.

jm/jr (Reuters, AFP)

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