John Gatt-Rutter, the European Union Representative in Jerusalem, has expressed his belief that it is impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state without area ‘C’.
Speaking during a discussion on Al-Watan TV in the West Bank presented by Sa’eda Hamad, the show discussed neighbourhood, the annual European report and EU cooperation with the Palestinian Authority. Mr Gatt-Rutter confirmed the EU’s backing for a two-state solution and said that it is impossible to see a viable state without area ‘C’ of the West Bank over which Israel has full security and administrative control as part of the Oslo Accord.
Europe has adopted a “European neighbourhood” programme with the countries of the Mediterranean Basin in the South and the Middle East, ever since the EU’s expansion in 2004 when the number of members increased from 14 to 25 countries.
“Our relationship with our neighbours in this area is a part of our initiative, and we have a framework plan with the Palestinians and another with the West. Both plans are varied, depending on the need, and each bears the common aim with the EU,” said Mr Gatt-Rutter. “The plan with the Palestinians is a result of this understanding and consensus.”
The EU official said that the division between Palestinians is a “big problem” and an “obstacle” in the way of progress. “We work closely with the PA and, like many Palestinians, we hope to see an end to this division in order to continue our achievements in Gaza,” he added.