Brussels, 16 Muharram 1434/30 November 2012 (WAFA/MINA) – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Thursday said the EU supports the Palestinian bid to gain a non-member state status at the United Nations and that it was ready to recognize a Palestinian state “when appropriate.”

     “The EU has repeatedly expressed its support and wish for Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations as part of a solution to the conflict,” she said in a statement, adding that “the EU reiterates its readiness to recognize a Palestinian State when appropriate.”

      Ashton said that the EU has supported Palestinian state-building efforts and “will continue to do so.”

      The EU official said the vote on a draft resolution granting non-member state status in the UN to Palestine “comes at a time when the latest escalation in the on-going Israeli-Palestinian conflict has caused the death of a large number of innocent civilians.”

     “This is a bitter reminder of the urgent necessity to move forward towards the end of the conflict,” she said.

     “Only a political solution to the conflict can bring lasting security, peace and prosperity to Palestinians and Israelis,” said Ashton, adding, “A comprehensive negotiated peace, which is a fundamental interest of the EU, as well as the parties in the region, must and can be achieved on the basis of a two-state solution with the State of Israel and a sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, both living in agreed borders and enjoying peace and security.”

      The statement said, “Looking ahead after today’s vote, it is important for all parties and actors involved to work towards a settlement of the conflict with renewed purpose and sense of urgency.”

      It called on all parties “to pursue actions conducive to an environment of confidence necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations and to refrain from actions that undermine the credibility of the process.”

     The EU urged both sides to seek constructive ways to overcome the current obstacles for a resumption of direct negotiations without delay or preconditions.

     The EU reaffirmed its position “that clear parameters defining the basis for negotiations are key elements for a successful outcome, together with the avoiding of unilateral measures and acts on the ground which undermine confidence and the viability of the two-state solution.”

     It reaffirmed that “it will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties,” stressing that “it will work actively, within the Quartet and with international partners, in support of efforts to bring about substantive negotiations in the coming months.” (T.R./M.S./T/R10/R-006)

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