Sunday, September 13, 2015

Abbas hails EU labeling of settlement goods

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas hailed on Saturday the European Union's (EU) decision of labeling Israeli settlement products, saying that Europe proved that settlements and their products are illegal.

During a West Bank event to inaugurate the First National Forum for innovators in Palestine, Abbas said the European position stressed the need for Israel to differentiate between Israeli products and settlement products.

The president said that the decision signals a shift in the European stance, "Europe now sees the truth and discovered that there's a need to bring justice to people, so it focuses on the two-state solution saying that settlements and their products are illegal."

The European Parliament adopted last week a non-binding resolution on the labeling produce of the of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Golan Height.

The vote followed a call by 15 EU countries in April that urged advancing the labeling of the products in member countries originating from the settlements.

"We are walking on the right path in all walks of life," Abbas said after praising a decision by the UN General Assembly on Thursday to raise the Palestinian flag at United Nations headquarters. He added that this vote means that Europe has taken two important decisions regarding the Palestinian cause.

"The world is starting to understand us," Abbas said referring to the overwhelming majority of the UN vote, "we don't want to exaggerate and promote illusions to people that the state will be achieved within seconds, but we are on the right track."

Thursday's vote was adopted by 119 countries and objected by eight, including the United States. "The 45-abstaining countries are considered supporters as they didn't object," Abbas continued.

The resolution allows the flags of non-member observer status, which are Palestine and the Holy See, to be hoisted alongside those of member states. The resolution gives the UN 20 days to implement the decision, which coincides with Abbas' visit to the United States to attend the UN's General Assembly annual meetings end of September.

In 2012, Palestine acquired the non-member state status in the UN's General Assembly with a majority of 138 votes, 41 abstentions and 9 objections.

   Xinhua -

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