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Hosting Macron, Abbas urges Europe to recognize State of Palestine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French President Emmanuel Macron (L) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at his headquarters in the in the West Bank City of Ramallah, on January 22, 2020. (By Reuters)

Hosting the French leader, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has renewed a call for Europe to recognize the State of Palestine with Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Abbas met with President Emmanuel Macron of France on Wednesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where the pair discussed the latest developments in the peace process and regional affairs.

Abbas highlighted France's role in "saving the political process from the stalemate caused by Israel's intransigence."

He expressed hope that Paris would recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

 “We wish that the European states — that believe in the two-state solution — and France will recognize the State of Palestine along 1967 borders with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital,” said Abbas.

The recognition of Palestine would be “a true path to saving the French- and European-backed two-state solution and would give hope to our people that achieving peace and stability is possible,” he said.

Abbas also told Macron that he was serious about holding new presidential and parliamentary elections.

He urged France and European Union countries to put pressure on Israel to allow residents of East Jerusalem al-Quds to participate in the vote.

The French President, in turn, said that Paris would continue to support the Palestinian people in building their institutions and economy.

Jerusalem al-Quds remains at the heart of the decades-long Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Palestinians want the occupied West Bank as part of their future independent state, and hope that East Jerusalem al-Quds – under Israel’s occupation since 1967 – will one day serve as the capital of their future sovereign state.

However, the Israeli officials insist on maintaining the occupation of Palestinian territories.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.

On December 6 2018, US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in the occupied territories from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

On December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial policy shift.

Angered by Trump’s move, the Palestinian president boycotted his administration, saying Washington was no longer qualified to serve as the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel, and that an international mechanism should be devised to replace the US in the so-called peace process.

Emboldened by the US president’s all-out support, the Tel Aviv regime has in recent months stepped up its settlement construction activities in the occupied lands in defiance of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334.

Settlements built on occupied land are illegal under international law and have been seen as a stumbling block to the resolution of the Palestine issue.

The Palestinians have frequently called for the establishment of their sovereign state along the pre-1967 lines with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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