The President of the European Union (EU) parliament said Tuesday that a unilateral move by the Palestinian Authority toward statehood could be “dangerous."
The President, Jerzy Buzek, made the comments during a visit to Ramallah, where he met with the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad. Buzek said he “understood” the PA’s position on statehood, but added that it could complicate peace efforts.
He stressed the importance of achieving peace through negotiations, something which he described as “excellent”, but added that a “unilateral declaration could be sometimes even dangerous.”
The Xinhua news agency reported that Fayyad responded to Buzek’s comments by saying that the PA’s efforts aim at “ending the Israeli occupation that started in 1967 and establishing a Palestinian state” in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip, with its capital in East Jerusalem.
The PA and its Chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, have been making preparations to seek the unilateral declaration of a PA state by the United Nations in September.
Abbas has said he would go the UN state if peace talks with Israel fail, but at the same time has flatly refused to come to the negotiating table and has manufactured preconditions when pressured to do so.
Buzek’s comments may hint that EU states will not support the unilateral declaration at the UN, which could present a problem for the PA.
U.S. President Barack Obama has already warned against the move, saying that it would be a “mistake” and reiterating that “the only way we are going to see a Palestinian state is if Israelis and Palestinians agree on a just peace.”
Israel has been hard at work trying to convince UN member countries not to support the move. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Italy this week, in hopes of persuading his friend and ally, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi not to support the bid.
Netanyahu previously met in Britain with Prime Minister David Cameron, during which Cameron hinted his country may support the PA at the UN.
Meanwhile, Xinhua reported that Buzek welcomed the recent reconciliation agreement between Abbas’ Fatah party and the Hamas terror group, which controls the Gaza Strip and refuses to recognize Israel.
Buzek noted that Hamas must meet international demands to renounce violence and recognize Israel.