The European Parliament is today expected to vote on a compromise motion urging the development of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians towards an eventual two-state solution.
The non-binding resolution has been in the works for some time and the final wording represents an agreement between all groups within the European Parliament. Social Democrat, Green and left-wing factions had proposed a motion which would call on European Union (EU) member countries to grant formal recognition to a Palestinian state without conditions. However, the centre-right European Peoples Party (EPP), the largest group in the European Parliament, plus the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE) strongly opposed the suggestion, arguing that Palestinian statehood can come only as part of a negotiated accord with Israel.
As a result, Social Democrat, EPP and ALDE representatives agreed a compromise text, which is expected to be approved in Strasbourg today. Reuters reports that the final wording says “[The European Parliament] supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”
It is also reported that the text reiterates the EU’s “strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent , democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security.”
In a separate development, the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention will gather for a special meeting today in Geneva for only the third time ever. They are expected to issue a declaration which is highly critical of Israel. Although the declaration is unlikely to have any practical impact, today’s meeting has strained diplomatic relations between Israel and Switzerland. The previous two special meetings of the forum also both dealt with Israel. The United States, Australia and Canada are expected to boycott today’s meeting.