Solana: EU supports future de facto Palestinian state

China View (Link) (August 31, 2009)

European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Monday evening that he supports the Palestinian vision on establishing a de facto independent Palestinian state within two years.

"We (EU) support Dr. Fayyad's plan," Solana told a joint news conference with Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad following a one-hour meeting in Ramallah.

"We support the plan. It is very good and it shows the fact that the Palestinian government is functioning," Solana told reporters.

Last Tuesday, Fayyad presented a plan of establishing a de facto independent state within two years on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 including east Jerusalem, regardless of whether the peace talks with Israel succeed or not.

Israel has downplayed Fayyad's plan, saying it will be a unilateral decision and it would stop the plan.

On his part, Fayyad told reporters that establishing the Palestinian state and building up its institutions is a Palestinian responsibility. "We are interested in this project and we are working on implementing it," he said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who met with Solana earlier on Monday, warned the PNA of carrying out what he termed as a "unilateral action," vowing that his government would prevent it.

Commenting on Lieberman's statements, Fayyad said that "if establishing a Palestinian state would be a unilateral action, then it would be a positive unilateral action," adding "because its goal is to end the Israeli military occupation."

During the news conference, Fayyad and Solana agreed that the Israeli settlement activities in the Palestinian territories "are illegal," stressing that "they are rejected."

Solana said he believes that Israel may stop settlement activities in the West Bank as soon as U.S. President Barack Obama presents his new plan to achieve peace in the Middle East.