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EU welcomes decision to hold elections in Palestine

Officials prepare to count ballots after Palestinians living in West Bank voted in the local election, which is boycotted by several Palestinian groups, at the Banat Qasm High School in Ramallah, West Bank on May 13, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]
Officials prepare to count ballots after Palestinians living in West Bank voted in the local election, which is boycotted by several Palestinian groups, at the Banat Qasm High School in Ramallah, West Bank on May 13, 2017 [Issam Rimawi / Anadolu Agency]

A European Commission spokesman on Saturday hailed Palestine's decision to hold general and presidential elections for the first time in 14 years, Anadolu Agency reported.

"Palestine welcomes decree-law on holding legislative, presidential and National Council elections. Elected and democratic institutions are key for self-determination & state building. EU is ready to support the electoral process," Peter Stano said on Twitter.

"Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's enacted a decree-law on holding legislative, presidential and National Council elections in the coming months starting with legislative elections on 22 May," said Stano.

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He said that it was a welcomed development as participative, representative and accountable democratic institutions are key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building.

"The EU has in the past years consistently supported and funded the work of the Central Elections Commission in order to prepare for holding free, fair and inclusive elections for all Palestinians.

"The EU stands ready to engage with relevant actors to support the electoral process. The EU also calls on Israeli authorities to facilitate the holding of elections across all the Palestinian territory," he said.

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