Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Riyad Malki today urged the European Union to deter Israel from persisting in its crimes against the Palestinian people.
Malki made this appeal during a meeting in Ramallah with his Slovenian counterpart Anze Logar.
The two foreign ministers discussed in their meeting ways to enhance cooperation and bilateral relations, particularly in the fields of economy and trade.
Commenting on the dire economic situation, Malki reiterated that the Israeli occupation is the key obstacle to the development of the Palestinian economy, particularly that Israel continues to control and exploit Palestinian natural resources.
He added that ending the Israeli occupation and enabling the Palestinian people having access to its natural resources and historical and religious sites are a prerequisite for dispensing with international aid and building a robust economy that could bring prosperity for the Palestinian people.
Touching on Israeli crimes and violations, the top Palestinian diplomat pointed that such crimes and violations, including land confiscation and home demolitions, reach their peak in Jerusalem and Area C, which accounts for 60 percent of the West Bank territory, as he referred to risks of building the new colonial settlement of Givat Eviatar atop Mount Sabih in the Nablus area, which has become a scene of daily protests against decades of Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid.
He urged the international community, particularly the EU, to take immediate action to deter Israel from persisting with these crimes and take practical steps in this regard instead of just issuing statements of condemnation.
He also urged them to pressure Israel into lifting the 14-year-blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip and link Gaza reconstruction to an international position guaranteeing that Israel no longer carries out a devastating onslaught on the Strip.
Malki addressed the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to consolidate calm in the occupied territories in order to restore a political horizon towards achieving just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution in line with the United Nations resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative and President Mahmoud Abbas’ initiative calling for convening an international peace conference conducive to the establishment of the Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
He touched upon the issue of postponed general elections, stressing the importance of holding them throughout the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, which is part of the occupied territories under international law, while calling on the international community and the EU to also pressure Israel into allowing the elections in Jerusalem.
Logar, whose visit to Palestine was his first, stressed that his country would continue to support Palestinian institutions and the principle of the two-state solution, as he expressed his hopes for strengthening bilateral relations, especially in the field of trade.