Palestine and the UN: Belgium backs the European majority and pushes for a return to negotiations without pre-conditions

date: 29 November 2012

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders stated this morning that the Inner Cabinet has endorsed the proposal for Belgium to support the draft resolution to confer observer non-member state status to Palestine. This will be put to the vote later in the day at the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

This announcement by the minister is in line with his continued efforts of the past few weeks to reach a joint European position on the issue. Didier Reynders regrets that such a common position has seemed impossible to achieve, but he remains faithful to his goal of a stronger and more credible European Union in the Middle East peace process. He therefore proposed that the Belgian government align its standpoint to that of an increasing number of EU partners who support the resolution.

Didier Reynders stresses that Belgium’s support for the resolution goes hand in hand with an appeal to Israel and to the Palestinian Authority to return to negotiations without pre-conditions, in order to reach a solution that results in two viable and secure states. To this end, Belgium has always assisted Palestine in creating a viable state structure and economy.

Finally, in a letter to President Abbas on 15 October 2012, Minister Reynders outlined his intention to raise the diplomatic status of the Palestinian Authority delegation in Brussels.