RAMALLAH, Tuesday, October 13, 2020 (WAFA) – Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh yesterday urged the European Union (EU) to play an effective role in any future political process.
“Europe believes in the two-state solution. Recognize the state of Palestine in order for us and you to break the status quo,” he said during an online debate with the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, attended by some 80 parliament members representing different countries and parties in Europe.
The most important dimension of breaking the current impasse, Shtayyeh noted, is making the Israeli occupation costly.
During the debate, he highlighted the need for adopting a multilateral approach to the peace process and bringing the US monopoly over the peace process to an end.
“I call upon your parliament and your distinguished members of this parliament that Europe not wait for the American president to come up with ideas. You and us have wasted four years waiting for the American president to come up with something.”
“The US monopoly over the peace process has not been fruitful. We have suffered a lot because the US is in a strategic alliance with Israel. We need a third party who can really remedy the imbalance in the relationship between an occupied people and an occupier country, that is Israel,” he said.
He reiterated the Palestinian leadership’s readiness to engage in any “serious negotiations” based on international law and United Nations resolutions. “We are the party to benefit most from any serious negotiations,” he said.
In order for the peace process to be serious, Shtayyeh explained, it should be based on agreed-upon terms of reference (based on international law and relevant UN resolutions), a clear timeline coupled with honest international mediation that would effectively break the monopoly of the US, and confidence-building measures and genuine intentions.
“We need a serious paradigm shift from bilateralism to multilateralism because bilateral negotiations with Israel did not take us anywhere,” he said.
He proposed that a full association agreement with the EU would help materialize Palestinian statehood.
“In order for us and you to get closer, a full association agreement should be activated between Palestine and Europe. This would help Palestine to be a state will help us and you be partners for peace and justice,” he said.
He expressed his hopes that if Joe Biden wins the upcoming US presidential elections, this would reflect directly on the Palestinian-Israeli relation as well as on Palestinian-US relation, and expressed his hopes that a Biden administration would reverse US President Donald Trump’s serious unilateral measures.
He pointed out that the Palestinian leadership is taking steps to “bring back democracy to life,” including preparing for elections, as he called on the EU to pressurize Israel into allowing Palestinians in East Jerusalem to participate.