The question of whether Palestine should be recognised as a state was debated in the European Parliament Wednesday evening with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini.
"We are the first trade partner for Israel, and we are the first donor for the Palestinian authority. And we can be the first political player in the region to facilitate a dialogue that has to be a direct dialogue between the Israeli and the Palestinians," said Mogherini opening the debate.
"Only if we send united messages as European Union in the region, our potential can be really used," she stated. "There is no way for having security if we do not also have a Palestinian state, there is no way of having a Palestinian state if we do not guarantee security, stability and peace also to the Israelis. That is the very same concept, the core of the efforts that the EU has always worked on," she stressed.
Mogherini said that the 'two-state solution', means the right of "Israel not only to exist, but to exist in security and safety and peace in the region, and with all the Palestinians, being them in West Bank in Jerusalem or in Gaza, having one, one, state finally." Gianni Pittella, the president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the EP called on all EU member states to recognise the state of Palestine, underlining that this is absolutely in line with the decision taken by the United Nations General Assembly on 29 November 2012.
"We believe that the only way to find a lasting solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is through the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both states. In this way, the state of Israel could live in peace and security alongside an independent, democratic and viable state of Palestine," he said.
Martina Anderson, Irish MEP, said "those who claim that the Palestinian state recognition will negatively impact on future negotiations ignore the reality that 20 years of negotiations have advanced little and have reinforced the Israelis occupation which consistently undermines the Two States solution through settlement expansion and land confiscation".
Spanish MEP Fernando Maura Barandiaran said "the brave announcement by the Swedish Parliament about the recognition of the Palestinian state should be the start of a new wave of international recognition which we should support." The EP is to vote on the recognition of Palestine in its next session in December.