Belgium will support the recognition of Palestine as a member of the United Nations: “This is the meaning of history”, says Hadja Lahbib

Belgium will support Palestine’s entry into the United Nations as a full member, announced Monday the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hadja Lahbib, following a meeting in Brussels with the special envoy of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas , Riyadh al-Maliki.

“The vote should take place this week, on May 10. It is important that the European Union does not miss this historic moment. Belgium intends to co-sponsor and support this resolution. We will be there to make history,” said declared the Belgian minister.

Palestine has enjoyed observer status at the UN since 1974. It has tried several times to obtain full member state status, in vain. A new request was presented last month to the United Nations Security Council but was vetoed by the United States. The subject must come back in a few days at the general assembly of the organization. A Palestinian resolution should be presented there to reiterate the request for membership.

Belgium, on the other hand, is not committing to rapid bilateral recognition as advocated by Spain in particular, even if it still supports a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which involves two states.

“A two-state solution based on international law remains the only possible path. This also involves the recognition of a Palestinian state. For the moment, we are working to establish objective criteria which should lead to a maximum of European states to recognize the Palestinian state,” explained Ms. Lahbib. “I have always said it: Belgium will recognize Palestine. This is the meaning of history. This recognition must make it possible to give the Palestinians rights and freedoms that they do not have at present, the most important of which is to live in peace in a defined and respected territory. This is what we are working towards, both at the European level and at the international level.

At a time when a major offensive by the Israeli army is being prepared against Rafah in the Gaza Strip, Belgium is repeating the call of the 27 to the Jewish State to renounce such an operation.

“A military assault on Rafah would kill hundreds of thousands of women, children and men who have no escape. This action would have a devastating impact on Palestinians in Gaza and serious repercussions on the occupied West Bank and the “the entire region. I can only repeat the call of the 27 to Israel not to carry out a military offensive in Rafah. This war will not be won by arms”, declared the head of Belgian diplomacy.

Hadja Lahbib

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