Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said the European Union should take a leadership role on the Middle East peace process after meeting with the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, during his visit to Brussels this week.
She said: “Ahead of his addressing of the plenary session, I held a very useful and constructive meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the latest situation in Palestine.
“It is vital that the European Union puts the Middle East Peace Process at the top of its international agenda, not only by declarations, but by specific and concrete actions.
“The international community, and specifically the EU, has an obligation to develop the peace process. This involves meaningful action to counter violations of human rights such as the ongoing illegal occupation of Palestinian land, administrative detention, collective punishment, the siege of Gaza and ongoing illegal settlement construction. These remain the most significant obstacles to the achievement of a lasting, viable and peaceful resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“In this vein, I welcome the initiative that will see the President of Palestine address the European Parliament.
“The EU has a serious and constructive role to play in developing the Palestine-Israeli peace process.
“I look forward to hearing from President Abbas in the Parliament and to continue working with him in the future.”