BRUSSELLS, November 18 (Sputnik), Mark Hirst – The European Union should not be debating and getting involved in issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestine conflict by formally recognizing Palestine, UK Independence Party's (UKIP) Member of the European Parliament for Scotland David Coburn told Sputnik news agency Tuesday.
"I think the EU should keep out of it. This is nothing to do with the European Union, and they don't help matters," Coburn told Sputnik.
Later on Tuesday, the European Parliament is to debate a resolution on EU recognition for the State of Palestine. However, Coburn accused the European Union of posturing and pointed to recent foreign policy failures.
"Their foreign policy has caused a great deal of trouble in Ukraine," Coburn told Sputnik. "It is much better that these matters are left to the main players such as Britain, America, Russia, France and the United Nations Security Council… It is just posing [by the EU] and trying to show how important they are, but they are not," he added.
Martina Anderson, MEP from the Sinn Fein party of Northern Ireland, who is also the chairwoman of the Delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, told Sputnik her party backs EU recognition of Palestine and she will be voting for the resolution.
"The international community and the European Union in particular have a responsibility to support the Palestinian people," Anderson said.
"Several European national parliaments have already taken this step and have recognized Palestine, and that is welcome. It would be hugely important if the European Parliament did the same," Anderson added.
The State of Palestine has been recognized by 135 out of 193 member states of the United Nations. Russia and China are the only members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) who have given full diplomatic state recognition to Palestinians, but the United States, Israel's principal diplomatic partner, said it would use its veto to block any move at the UNSC to grant full recognition of Palestine.
Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine on October 30, becoming the first EU country to do so. Prior to that, the UK parliament held a symbolic vote that recognized the Palestinian state.
The Spanish parliament is holding a symbolic vote on Palestine's recognition later on Tuesday, while France will hold a similar vote on November 28.
Palestinians seek the creation of an independent state on the territories of the West Bank in East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, as well as on the Gaza Strip territory controlled by Hamas militants. Palestine has designated Jerusalem as its capital and calls on Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it took after the 1967 war.