In light of the stalled peace negotiations with Israel, the Palestinians are working vigorously to garner international support for the establishment of an independent state.
On Monday Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat addressed a written letter to the EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton, urging the European Union to recognize an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders.
Erekat lauded the EU's definition of Jerusalem as "the capital of the two states," and said Israel's actions, including its refusal to halt construction in the settlements, stress the need for the EU's recognition of two states along the 1967 borders and for forcing the Israeli government to halt all construction in the settlements, including east Jerusalem.
Such a move would "provide protection for the principle of two states as well as for the peace process," he said.
The Union's 27 foreign ministers convening in Brussels are expected to issue a statement saying the “EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. This could include agreed territorial swaps. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. The EU calls for an agreed, just, fair and realistic solution to the refugee question.”
According to a draft copy of the statement, the resolution states that the “council reiterates its readiness, when appropriate, to recognize a Palestinian state."
Some of the FMs said they were frustrated the Union would not recognize a Palestinian state at this time.
'Only negotiations will establish Palestinian state'
The resolution is also expected to address Israel's refusal to extend the construction moratorium in the West Bank and stress the need to resume negotiations for a period of 12 months, as determined by the Mideast Quartet.
Israel has been working diligently to try and soften the wording in the resolution. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has spoken with a number of his counterparts in the Union to try and convince them not to recognize a Palestinian state, and he has also instructed Israeli ambassadors in EU countries to clarify Israel's position.
Even prior to the announcement on the collapse of direct talks with Israel, the Palestinians threatened to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state unless the US convinces Israel to stop building in the settlements.
Argentina and Brazil have already recognized a "free and independent" Palestinian state. On Monday Deputy FM Danny Ayalon told some 20 reporters from South America that a Palestinian state would not be established by "declarations in Buenos Aires or Brasilia, but by negotiations with the chosen government in Jerusalem."
AFP contributed to the report
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook