An overwhelming number of MEPs voted in the European Parliament to recognise the State of Palestine, following Sweden’s official recognition and votes in the British, French and Spanish Parliaments in support of recognition.
498 MEPs voted to recognise Palestine in pre-1967 borders, while 88 MEPs voted against. A UKIP MEP tried to disrupt proceedings before the vote, however after the result was announced there was standing ovation in the European Parliament plenary chamber.
Dr Sajjad Karim MEP, North West Conservative MEP, a vocal advocate of the two state solution voted to recognise Palestinian statehood. The resolution is not binding, however it strengthens the movement which calls for a Palestinian state.
A majority of 135 members of the UN General Assembly had also given their support for a two-state solution, and in particular there has been strong support for a Palestinian state by Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and most Latin American countries.
Dr Sajjad Karim MEP said today:
“The tide is turning as the global community is starting to speak loud and clear for their support for a Palestinian state. We have now reached critical mass, with Sweden officially recognising a Palestinian State and Parliaments around the world also voting in favour of recognition. Now is the time for the EU to recognise Palestine. Self-determination is a universal human right and should be respected and defended everywhere.”
Dr Karim is a keen champion of human rights issues since his election in 2004. Since that time, Dr Karim has argued that the Palestinians deserve a state, just as the Israelis do. The United States, the European Union and the Israeli government have all endorsed a two-state solution.
Dr Sajjad Karim said,
“One after another, Parliaments around the world are lining up to say clearly that the time has come to give Palestinians a state and a homeland. There should be no Parliament from where that call should be louder or clearer than the European Parliament. A failure to do all in our power is to un-anchor Europe and set ourselves adrift from our values and our humanity.”