BRUSSELS, Nov 15 — Two senior officials from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Friday met EU and Belgian officials and parliamentarians here as part of a European tour to explain the Palestinian strategy to find a solution to the Palestine question.

“Our visit is part of public diplomacy to outreach Europe because we feel that Europe will be playing an important role in the future. We believe that Europe can play a role because Europe has been supportive of Palestinian statehood for the last 21 years,” Ashraf Khatib, Communication Advisor to the PLO, told a news conference Friday evening.

“We are facing the most critical if not the most dangerous situation, especially with regard to the Haram Al Sahrif, or the Al-Aqsa compound,” he said, explaining that Israel is trying to change the status quo of Islam’s third most holiest site and is escalating tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.

“We are trying to take the issues to the international community, to the Security Council. In November we are planning to take our resolution to the Security Council. Hopefully we will have enough votes for that and it will not be faced by an American veto,” he said.

Noting that Sweden recently recognized Palestine, Khatib said, hoping that it will be “mass recognition from all Europe. We hope this will take place as soon as possible.”

On his part, Omar Shihabi, legal adviser to the PLO, told the joint press conference that their visit to the Belgian capital is to explain three issues to their interlocutors.

“One is the recognition initiative to recognise the Palestinian state on the borders of 1967, second is UNSC resolution calling for the end of the occupation within a fixed time, and third asking the EU to continue with a series of initiatives that it launched last year on the illegal settlements on occupied Palestine,” he said.
Shihabi added that the EU has made it clear that any further engagement with Israel and the EU will be based on non-recognition of any Israeli claim on Palestinian territory.

“So finish the job, recognize Palestine on that territory,” he stressed.


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