08:45 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Top Luxembourgian Diplomat Suggests EU Recognise Palestinian Authority in Response to Trump Policy

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    Middle East
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Luxembourgish Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn, in an interview with Der Tagesspiegel newspaper, has suggested that the EU should recognise Palestine as a state to show opposition to the US administration’s U-turn on the Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

    "The European Union should hold a debate on whether it would be appropriate for all EU nations to recognise Palestine as a state. This could at least create a counterweight to the Trump policy", Asselborn said in the interview, published in full on Sunday.

    He noted that it would be difficult to recognise Palestine as a state at the national level in each of the countries, especially in Germany, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Luxembourg.

    "But within the framework of a European initiative, this is quite possible to envisage. The recognition of Palestine by the whole EU would be a signal – the Palestinians need a homeland, they need a state as much as the Israelis", the minister added.

    On 18 November, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considered the construction of civilian settlements by Israel in the West Bank "inconsistent with international law", a move that represents a reversal of the stance held by the Barack Obama administration and runs against UN Security Council resolutions.

    Israel has been in control of the Palestinian-majority West Bank since the Six-Day War in 1967. More than 120 Israeli civilian settlements have since been built in the area under the protection and blessing of the Jewish state. The settlements, considered illegal by most of the international community, have been expanded under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

    West Bank, Israeli settlements, US administration, United States, Palestinian Authority, Israel
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