New EU chief Federica Mogherini stated her goal for the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of her five-year term. She will visit Israel and the Palestinian territories this weekend.
Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, replacing Catherine Ashton since Nov. 1, told the European press on Monday that the creation of a Palestinian state within five years is one of her major goals.
Last month, Sweden issued a statement recognizing “Palestine” as a state.
“The important thing for me,” Mogherini said, “is not whether other states, European or not, recognize Palestine. What would make me happy is the existence of a Palestinian State during my tenure.”
Speaking to reporters from five European newspapers, Mogherini explained:
“I want to forge a strategy, a vision and a common policy, but I know the limits of this exercise: the question of recognition of a state is the competence of the member states,” she told the papers.
“But I surely intend to use the union’s political potential in this region. That’s why my first visit will be to Israel and Palestine at the end of this week. European action can be decisive during this important moment, probably the most difficult the region has ever seen.”
The EU diplomat added that she sees the involvement of the Arab world as essential to the negotiations, as well as a unified position taken by all 28 EU members.
“For the first time I believe … they need the European Union to be present in order to make steps forward at this time of their history. This might not have been the case in the past. But at this date I get the same messages from the Palestinian side, from the Israeli side, and from the key Arab countries, exactly in the same terms – we do need at this time the European Union to move forward,” she declared.
Mogherini had visited Israel in July in her role as foreign minister of Italy.
By United with Israel Staff
(With files from The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel)
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