21 June 2007 Edition
EU must act now on Palestine - de Brún
In January 2006 Bairbre de Brún MEP was an international observer to the Palestinian elections. On 4 June 2007 Ms de Brún joined MLAs at Stormont to meet the Patriarch of Jerusalem on his visit to Belfast. On 6 June 2007 Ms de Brún joined 44 other MEPs in a solemn and dignified protest in the European Parliament to highlight the plight of the 45 Palestinian Members of Parliament who have been imprisoned by the Israeli authorities. On 7 June 2007 Ms de Brún joined a human chain around the European Commission “Berlaymont” building to urge the EU to launch an initiative to begin a real peace process which can lead to a just and sustainable peace.
Speaking from the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday Bairbre de Brún said:
“Since being an international observer at the Palestinian elections in January 2006 I have consistently called on the EU to recognise the outcome of that election and to engage in dialogue with democratically elected politicians. If the outcome of that election had been recognised then we would not be where we are today. It is shameful that the opportunity offered by those elections and later by the formation of a government of national unity was squandered.
“The EU and the international community bear a heavy responsibility for the current tragedy in Palestine. Their failure to bring pressure to bear on Israel, the impunity afforded to the Israeli authorities, their refusal to talk to democratically elected politicians and their sanctions against the Palestinian authorities has led us to where we are today. The recent decision on direct aid in Luxembourg comes late in the day.
“The EU must now grasp the political responsibility by opening political dialogue with all relevant actors in Palestine – in Gaza as well as the West Bank. We have to help the Palestinian people pull back from this appalling situation by engaging in dialogue with the specific intention of aiding the establishment of a unified, viable and secure Palestinian state.
“If the EU continues its senseless refusal to engage in dialogue with all parties things will only get worse.”