Dublin Labour MEP, Emer Costello, has welcomed last night’s positive vote on Palestine’s bid for Non-member State Observer Status at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Ms. Costello, who is Chairperson of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council said:” The vote, which co-incidentally took place on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, is a significant milestone in Palestinian ambitions for statehood.
“In particular, I welcome Ireland’s continued support for Palestine’s right to self-determination. I also welcome the fact that a majority of EU Members States supported the Palestinian bid for statehood with just one EU Member State (Czech Republic) opposing. This follows last week’s vote in the European Parliament in support of Palestine’s UN bid, which was passed by an overwhelming majority of 447 to 113.
“The UN vote presents a real opportunity to re-state the case for a two-state solution, to which Israel signed up in the Oslo Accords of 1993. I call on both the Israeli Government and Palestinian Authority to re-start negotiations for a lasting and sustainable peace leading to the creation of a fully independent Palestinian State, while ensuring that Israel is safe and secure within its own borders.
“Moreover, I would urge the Israeli Government not to engage in retaliation or recrimination such as the withholding of taxes or the expansion of settlements, as had been mooted before the vote.
“As the single largest donor to the Palestinian Authority, the European Union must play a central role in working towards a solution. Following the very positive statement from Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, I am confident that the Irish Presidency of the EU will work with the High Representative, Baroness Ashton towards achieving a sustainable and lasting peace in the region.”