Palestinian statehood: European Parliament considers initiative to recognize Palestine and 'provide extra impetus towards Middle East peace'

Some MEPs have warned that such a stance could compromise the EU’s role as a neutral negotiator

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
Wednesday 26 November 2014 19:38

The European Parliament has considered formally recognising a Palestinian state; a wave of support for independent statehood has swept across Europe as the peace process remains deadlocked.

In an impassioned debate lasting nearly three hours, many MEPs urged the assembly to follow the lead of Sweden, whose government passed a resolution in October recognising the existence of a Palestinian state, despite protests from the Israeli government. The British, Irish and Spanish parliaments have passed symbolic motions urging their governments to consider a similar move, and France will debate the question this week. “This parliamentary initiative can provide extra impetus which can finally bring talks to success and peace to the Middle East,” said Richard Howitt, Labour MEP for the East of England.

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