Tuesday

13th Nov 2018

Barroso in Palestine: 'We are laying foundations of future state'

  • Barroso in Bethlehem: Palestine recently used its new status as a member of UN heritage body, Unesco, to seek special protection for the Christian shrine (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has pledged support for a future Palestinian state on his first official trip to the region.

Speaking alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Sunday (8 July) he said that "through our ... political and financial support we are laying the foundations of a future democratic and viable Palestinian state – its institutions and its infrastructure."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

He voiced "concern" about "the continuous growth of [Irsaeli] settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

He also "welcomed" the prospect of a unity government between the more moderate Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the militant Hamas group in Gaza, which is listed as a terrorist entity by EU countries.

In a second speech in Palestinian-controlled Jericho later the same day, he urged the Palestinian side to "uphold ... the right to peaceful protest and demonstration, the freedom of expression and of the media, as well as the proper treatment of arrested persons and of detainees."

The EU has paid out €4 billion in aid to Palestinian authorities since 2000.

On Sunday, Barroso announced a new €20 million grant to help with police and judicial training and cut the ribbon on an EU-co-financed Palestine College for Police Sciences.

He also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is due to meet Israeli leaders on Monday.

Peace talks between the two sides have stalled, with Ramallah-based EU diplomats repeatedly warning that Israeli settler expansion is making a future two-state solution impossible in practice.

Meanwhile, fellow Arab countries have failed to pay out on previous promises of aid for Palestinian state-building.

Fayyad and Abbas both warned that the shortfall in payments could create a crisis in terms of day-to-day governance.

"We have been honouring our commitments even in times of economic turbulence. We call also on other donors, especially donors in the region, to do the same," Barroso noted in Jericho.

EU takes aim at Israeli settler products

EU foreign ministers have "warned" Israel they will take a tougher approach to exports originating from illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

UN vote marks EU defeat for Israel

Just one EU country - the Czech Republic - voted against Palestine's bid to become a UN "observer state" on Thursday.

News in Brief

  1. UK seeks swift use of new EU chemical weapons blacklist
  2. Barnier briefs EU ministers: intense negotiations continue
  3. Romanian minister preparing EU presidency steps down
  4. Finland says Russia possibly behind GPS jamming
  5. German AfD leader under fire for Swiss campaign funding
  6. Seehofer announces he will step down as CSU party leader
  7. EU condemns elections in Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine
  8. German Greens pick two top candidates for EU election

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  8. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  9. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  10. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  11. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  12. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs

Latest News

  1. Romanian leaders trade jibes over upcoming EU presidency
  2. EU warns Romania not to abuse GDPR against press
  3. EU 'Magnitsky Act' must bear its proper name
  4. Fear of nationalist surge marks European memorials
  5. Liberals ally with Macron for election, but no candidate yet
  6. Revealed: Link between MEPs CO2 votes and domestic car jobs
  7. All Quiet on the Eastern Front?
  8. Merkel and Brexit in spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us