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PLO: UK must recognise State of Palestine

January 12, 2018 at 9:19 am

Executive committee member at the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]

The United Kingdom should work proactively towards rectifying its policy and recognising the State of Palestine, the executive committee member at the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani, said yesterday.

In a meeting with British Consul-General to Jerusalem, Philip Hall, Majdalani said: “Britain has to take responsibility for the Palestinian issue, especially that it was part of the Palestinian people’s tragedy through issuing the Balfour Declaration.”

The Balfour Declaration is a public statement that was issued by the former British Foreign Secretary Arthur Belfour on 2 November 1917 to turn the Zionist aspirations of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine into a reality. The pledge is generally viewed as one of the main catalysts of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948 and the escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The UK, Majdalani pointed out, has a “dual responsibility”, firstly, to ensure that the Balfour Declaration is implemented, and secondly, to recognise the State of Palestine as a “stepping stone towards achieving the internationally-backed two-state solution”.

UK: Now is not the ‘right time’ to recognise Palestine

On his part, Hall stressed on his country’s support for the two-state solution “in accordance with the international legitimacy resolutions”.

“We must work together on stabilising the situation in the region and to support international peace efforts,” Hall said.

Last December, the UK announced its rejection of the US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and voted in favour of the UN resolution condemning the decision at a General Assembly session which was held on 21 December.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority (PA) also sought the European Union (EU)’s support in recognising the State of Palestine with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital.