Shtayyeh to EU: Impose sanctions on Israel, recognize Palestinian state

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Shtayyeh made his appeal during a phone conversation on Friday with EU President Charles Michel.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks before the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank May 11, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh speaks before the start of the weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah, West Bank May 11, 2020

(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN)

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on the European Union to impose sanctions on Israel to prevent it from extending its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank. He also called on the EU to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Shtayyeh made his appeal during a phone conversation on Friday with EU President Charles Michel.

Shtayyeh stressed the importance of “serious and practical EU steps” to confront the Israeli plan, including imposing sanctions on Israel and recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital,” according to a statement released by the PA premier’s office.

The statement quoted Michel as emphasizing the EU’s “clear belief in the two-state solution and rejection of Israeli annexation plans, which contravene international law.”

The EU president reportedly told Shtayyeh that he would contact Israel and the US administration in a bid to stop Israel from implanting the plan.

Also Friday, Shtayyeh met in his office in Ramallah with Norway’s special envoy for the Middle East peace process, Tor Wennesland, and discussed with him the latest political developments in the region, particularly Israel’s intention to extend its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank.

Shtayyeh told the Norwegian envoy that the Palestinians want the international community to step up its effort to prevent Israel from carrying out its plan. Shtayyeh warned that the plan, if implemented, would destroy the two-state solution, and eliminate any chance to establish a Palestinian state.

Shtayyeh called for EU and international recognition of a Palestinian state as a way to “break the status quo.” He accused Israel of violating all the agreements signed with the Palestinians. “We won’t continue to adhere to these agreements unilaterally,” Shtayyeh added.

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said on Friday that he had separate discussions about the Israeli plan with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Susanna Terstal and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin.

“We discussed the urgency to stop the annexation to save the peace prospects,” Erekat said. “Respect for international law and ending the occupation remain a consensus among peace-loving countries.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinian envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that “Arab Group” ambassadors would meet on Monday with the president of the Security Council as part of efforts to prevent Israel from implementing the annexation plan. France is holding the presidency of the Security Council in June.

Mansour said similar meetings were also planned with members of the Security Council, including Germany, Britain and Belgium, to explain the “dangers and destructive repercussions” of the plan.

Mansour said that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was pursuing his efforts with members of the Quartet (US, EU, Russia and the UN) to exert pressure on Israel not to implement the annexation plan.

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