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Commissioner Várhelyi is undermining EU efforts for peace, Iratxe García tells Palestinian PM Mohammad Shtayyeh


12 May 2022


Global Europe

Today the leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Iratxe García, called on the EU institutions to increase their efforts to ease tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, and to support the Palestinian Authority as the only way forward.

During a meeting in Brussels with Palestinian prime minister, Dr Mohammad Shtayyeh, S&D president Iratxe García, vice-president Pedro Marques and the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur for Palestine, S&D MEP Evin Incir, expressed their concern over the stalemate of the EU’s support for the Palestinian Authority.

Following the meeting, Iratxe García said:

“The violence in the region has been growing over recent weeks and the EU should be an active player to ease these tensions. I have already told EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen that it is totally unacceptable that the EU budget support for the Palestinian Authority is withheld on fabricated grounds over textbooks by a single Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, who does not represent the EU's commitment to the Middle East peace process.

“It is of utmost importance we maintain the capacity of the Palestinian Authority to fulfil its duties and take care of the Palestinian people in order to achieve the two-state solution, the only one that can bring a permanent peace to neighbours who are destined to live together.

“The political line of the EU is very clear – it has always been – and I will insist again to President Von der Leyen that the Commission must live up to its responsibilities and not be hijacked by the interests of one Commissioner.

“I profoundly regret the death of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was covering the news in Jenin. I hope an investigation will clarify what happened. The right of journalists to do their job must be protected everywhere.

"I condemn all acts of violence against civilians, both in Israel and in Palestine. I also protest against the demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian families in the occupied West Bank."




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