Monday, 20 June 2011
Netherlands Not Planning to Recognise Palestinian State
THE HAGUE, 18/06/11 - The Netherlands is not planning for now to recognise a Palestinian state, Vice-Premier Maxime Verhagen said on public broadcaster NOS.
In a few months, the Palestinians are going to the United Nations to request recognition for the Palestinian state. "A Palestinian state can only be the result of peaceful negotiations," said Verhagen. "There must be a two states solution and from the Netherlands, we do what we can to realise this."
Verhagen made a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories this week. He held talks with Israeli President Peres and Premier Netanyahu and the Palestinian Premier Fayyad and National Economy Minister Abu Libdeh. He also met with Israeli and Palestinian business people.
"The Netherlands will step up economic partnership with Israel and the Palestinian territories. The partnership can contribute to the resolving of the conflict in the Middle East," Verhagen predicted.
In a joint statement, the Netherlands and Israel announced that they would actively seek innovative projects. In 2012, the Netherlands will organise a trade mission to help companies find an entrance to the Israeli market.
The Netherlands will continue to support the Palestinian Authority in building up the economy. The emphasis here will shift from donor aid to enabling private investments. But "economic partnership cannot take the place of negotiations on a peace accord," Verhagen stressed.
He repeated his call to Israel and the Palestinian Authority to get around the table together again as soon as possible. "The Netherlands supports the idea of the US that attention must in the first place focus on security guarantees and the establishment of the borders according to the line of 1967. There can only be a question of the exchange of land if both the Israelis and the Palestinians back this."
The Netherlands will continue to make efforts internationally "against the trend towards the de-legitimisation of Israel," said Verhagen. "I am convinced that there is only a chance for peace if Israel is seen as part of the solution and not as part of the problem."