Chancellor Angela Merkel opposes unilaterally recognizing Palestinian state, reiterating that Germany will not follow the other European nations that have already done so.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined Germany’s opposition to recognizing a Palestinian state after lawmakers elsewhere in Europe backed such a move.
Sweden’s new government officially recognized a Palestinian state on Oct. 30. Last Tuesday, Spain’s parliament approved a nonbinding resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, following similar motions in Britain and Ireland. Germany, Israel’s closest European ally, has made clear it will not follow that lead.
Merkel said Friday that Berlin supports a two-state solution and “we see how difficult that is, so we also believe that unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state won’t move us forward” toward that goal.
She said it would be better to focus squarely on getting Israeli-Palestinian talks going although “that appears very difficult in the current conditions.”
The aim should be that both sides agree on a two-state solution — Israel and a future Palestine — coexisting side by side, Merkel told a news conference in Berlin after meeting Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Michel said Belgium generally favored recognizing a Palestinian state, “but the question is when is the right moment,” he added, stressing the need for a common European Union position.
Since the 28 EU member states would need to decide unanimously on recognizing a Palestinian state, Merkel’s objection amounts to a veto on the subject.
A total of 135 countries already recognize Palestine, including several east European countries that did so before they joined the EU.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=21661