PLO officials were disappointed in the UK’s refusal to support the conclusions of the international Mideast summit in Paris on Sunday.
Senior officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) expressed disappointment with the United Kingdom’s decision to prevent the European Union from officially endorsing the conclusions of an international summit in Paris last Sunday, which called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to accept a two-state solution.
“We were expecting the United Kingdom, in particular, to play an effective role in the international system that rejects the Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise,” said PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat on Monday evening.
The European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council can move ahead with an initiative only by unanimous consent of its member states. It could not officially endorse the conclusions of the Paris summit due to the objections of the UK as well as a handful of eastern European member states. An anonymous European Union diplomat reiterated to Haaretz his frustration at the UK’s refusal to sign onto the summit’s conclusions.
“It’s madness,” the official said. “Just three weeks ago the Brits pushed for UN Security Council resolution 2334, which criticized the settlements and voted for it, and now they’re blocking resolutions on the matter at the Foreign Affairs Council.”
Erekat’s remarks were somewhat unexpected in light of the PA having announced its intentions last summer to sue Britain for the Balfour Declaration of 1917 – the famous letter pledging support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.
“It is time to end the historic injustice that befell our people who will soon mark the anniversary of the infamous Balfour Declaration,” he said. “The United Kingdom should revise its positions by holding Israel accountable, as well as support the Palestinian and international initiatives.”
The PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department tweeted out a statement from senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi, saying, “Instead of rectifying its historic responsibility, the UK is compounding its culpability by undermining initiatives.”
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News