Brussels: The European Union supports the holding of Palestinian elections on all territories, including East Jerusalem, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said at a Monday meeting with the Palestinian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Riyad Al Malki, in Brussels.
“High Representative Borrell reiterated the EU’s strong support for the holding of elections across all of the Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem. Inclusive, accountable and functioning democratic Palestinian institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights, are vital for the two-state solution. The EU is willing to do all that it can to support this important process, including through its continued assistance to the Central Elections Commission,” the EU said in a Monday statement.
Earlier this year, Palestine’s leadership officially requested Israel to allow general elections to be held in East Jerusalem, as provided for by the Transitional Phase Agreement, but has not yet received any response. Palestine has sent letters to the United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and Russia — the Middle East Quartet members — requesting their intervention to ensure that Palestinians in East Jerusalem will participate in the elections.
Last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked Quartet members and Germany to exert pressure on Israel so that the latter allows Palestine to hold general elections in East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian leader issued a decree to hold general elections — the first in 15 years — on January 15. According to the decree, elections to the parliament will be held on May 22, including in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, while the presidential election will be held on July 31.