The EU foreign policy chief, Catharine Ashton, has said that the EU desires to see Palestine granted the status of a full-member state at the UN. “Achieving this is a part of the conflict resolution,” she said.
In a letter sent to the executive member of the PLO, Hanan Ashrawi, Ashton said, “The EU is working tirelessly in order to push efforts toward building the institutions of the Palestinian Authority forward, and I affirm that we are going to continue these efforts.”
Ashton replied to a letter from Ashrawi in which the latter asked her for an EU response to Israel’s evasive policy in dealing with international law regarding Palestinian issues, especially the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories.
According to Ashton’s letter, she has sent letters to all EU foreign ministers stressing her “firm” obligation to all terms of the treaties signed with Israel, where the EU “hopes to achieve peace and security in the region soon.”
The EU senior official also wrote, “The EU Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) convened last December and agreed on important conclusions regarding the expansion of Israeli settlements, especially in E1 areas.”
The conclusion also included a “strong and clear position for the Council regarding this issue and there should be a close follow up for it.”
Regarding Israel’s announcement of continued settlement expansion in the wake of the UN General Assembly vote which granted Palestine non-member state status, Ashton said, “The ECFR stressed the necessity that Israel respects the international treaties that it has signed, especially the Paris Agreement, based on which Israel transfers Palestinian tax revenues.”
Ashton added, “Based on recent and previous findings that the ECFR has adopted, the EU is involved in an operation that ensures Israel’s obligation to all treaties signed with the EU regarding Palestinian lands occupied in 1967, including the Golan Heights, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.”