Palestinian state: Sooner the better, says EU

The European Union’s foreign and security policy chief, Javier Solana, on Wednesday promised strong support for the creation of an independent state of Palestine, saying the 25-nation bloc is determined to help Palestinians build up the structures of a viable and separate state.

“The EU is going to be behind the peace process for the realisation of a dream ... a Palestinian state,” Solana told reporters after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

“We do not want hope to disappear from the hearts of Palestinian people,” Solana said, adding that the EU will help Palestinians “until the end of the [peace] road map”.

Asked when such an independent Palestinian state should be set up, Solana replied: “The sooner, the better.”

EU help for Palestinians will continue to include economic assistance, help for upcoming elections, restructuring of the Palestinian Authority and aid for “building up the structures to have a state”, Solana said.

Abbas was in Brussels after attending a meeting in London on international aid for the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian leader called on the EU to play a “major political role” in bringing peace to the Middle East.

He said that Friday’s terrorist attack on Israeli targets had been denounced “almost unanimously” by the entire Palestinian society.

Abbas is also set to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and the president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell.—Sapa-DPA

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