Italy 'should recognize Palestinian state', says Shaath

Abbas's former chief negotiator; parliamentary vote 24/1

20 January, 20:03

    Minister of International Cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, Nabil Shaath Minister of International Cooperation of the Palestinian Authority, Nabil Shaath

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, JANUARY 20 - Only by recognizing Palestine can Italy contribute to a two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said Palestine's former negotiations chief Nabil Shaath on Tuesday.

    Shaath was speaking at the Italian Society for International Organization (SIOI) at a meeting entitled 'Palestine and the Road to Peace'. ''On the 24th of this month,'' said Shaath, who is now the head of international affairs for Fatah, ''your parliament will vote on recognizing the Palestinian state. I know that parliaments do not grant recognition, although I think that Italy should have recognized the Palestinian state long ago, but we are asking for your help.'' His words were echoed by Palestinian Ambassador to Italy Mai Al-Kaila, who said that without steps like this ''peace will be impossible''. ''Our strategic partner is the European Union and, within it, Italy can play a decisive role in the peace process in the Middle East, as well as on the ground,'' Shaath said.

    ''Italy,'' he continued, ''has always stood alongside Palestinians'' and could help out.

    ''I am optimistic by nature. There is the need to find a solution that ensures independence, justice, freedom and security to everyone involved. This is why I am asking for your help,'' he said. ''I think that your parliament should recognize the Palestinian state, thereby sending a signal to the Italian government.'' If the two-state solution is the goal, he stressed, ''the Palestinian state must be recognized. No peace process can resume without this precondition''. (ANSAmed).

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