Ramallah: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas Tuesday urged the European Union to move towards recognition of a Palestinian state, in a call to the bloc`s top diplomat.
"(Catherine) Ashton spoke today with president Abbas
who called on the EU to take a step towards recognition of the
state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders," chief
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP.
"We hope that the European Union will take this step
to maintain the requirements for the success of the peace
process, which was thwarted by Israel," added Erakat, who
issued his own appeal to the EU earlier today.
Erakat`s demands were laid out in a letter addressed
to Ashton, who is presiding over a meeting of foreign policy
chiefs in Brussels, a copy of which was seen by AFP.
EU diplomats were expected to issue a statement later
today reaffirming their readiness to recognise a Palestinian
state at an "appropriate" time, after the collapse of direct
peace talks over the issue of Israeli settlement construction.
In his letter, Erakat "affirmed the need for an EU
recognition of two states along the 1967 borders and to oblige
the Israeli government to completely halt settlement activity,
including in east Jerusalem."
Erakat said that "such a step by the European Union
would provide protection for the principle of two states as
well as for the peace process," which ran aground last week
after Washington admitted failure to secure a new Israeli
settlement freeze, thereby ending direct talks.
The draft EU statement, a copy of which was seen by
AFP, said the bloc "reiterates its readiness, when
appropriate, to recognise a Palestinian state," but stressed
it will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders that
are not agreed between the parties.