Sarkozy Urges ‘One Voice’ for EU on Issue of Palestinian Statehood
Posted on Aug 31, 2011
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday in a speech to French ambassadors that he wanted all 27 countries of the European Union to speak with “one voice” in September on the issue of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly.
Sarkozy also urged the U.S. to do more to foster peace in the Middle East, especially as the Arab Spring brings change across the region.
Most countries in the EU have not publicly committed to which way they will vote on the issue, but if a recent vote on trade legislation in Palestine is any indication of their sympathies (the EU voted 27-0 to open markets to farm and fish products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip), the Palestinian Authority can count on at least some Western support come September. —BF
Up until now most of the EU’s countries have refrained from committing on how they would vote on the resolution, saying that it depended on the text. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton was scheduled to convene an informal meeting of the EU’s 27 foreign ministers on September 2 where the issue will be discussed.
The EU moved closer to a trade deal with the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, in what could be construed as a sign of support for the statehood bid. The European Parliament’s international trade committee voted 27-0 to fully open markets to farm and fish products from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The vote paved the way for full parliamentary approval for a deal later this year.
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