31st May 2020

Palestine wants to become an EU member

Palestinian foreign minister Nabil Shaath has said he hopes that Palestine could eventually become a member of the EU.

According to Spiegel Online, at the NATO conference in Munich Mr Shaath said that after peace is reached with Israel, the country should be taken on as an EU member.

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  • Dublin - the scene of talks between the Irish EU Presidency and the Palestinian prime minister (Photo: Irish Presidency)

"If Palestine could become a member of the European Union after a peace agreement, it would be a wonderful incentive".

Mediterranean free-trade zone

Mr Shaath was reacting to a suggestion by German foreign minister Joschka Fischer that the EU should have a free trade-zone with the whole of the Mediterranean area.

He also suggested that if the US is too occupied with campaigning for the presidential elections, then the EU and Russia should do more.

Mr Shaath's words come as Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala) visits Dublin today (9 February) to try and muster European support against Israel's controversial West Bank separation barrier.

Mr Qurei will holds talks with Irish Prime Minister and current head of the EU Bertie Ahern and Irish Foreign Minister Brian Cowen.

In just under two weeks time, on 23 February, the International Court of Justice in the Hague will begin a hearing on whether the barrier, which cuts into Palestinian territory, is legal.

The Irish Presidency will also discuss the stalled peace process with the Palestinian prime minister - the European Union is one of the four co-sponsors (along with the US, Russia and the UN) of the Mid-East roadmap to peace.

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