Dutch won't support Palestinian statehood move
The Netherlands will not support a Palestinian move for statehood at the UN and will continue to push for a resumption of talks with Israel, the Dutch foreign minister said Thursday.
"It will not be supported by the Netherlands," Uri Rosenthal said in The Hague after talks with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who is on a three-day working visit to the country.
The Palestinian leader earlier this month urged European Union nations to recognise the state of Palestine before the UN's General Assembly in September.
The Dutch government, however, supports a return to negotiations with Israel based on an agreement around 1967 borders, Rosenthal said.
"We will continue to stress for a restart to direct negotiations. We need direct negotiations right now," to include mutual security, an agreement on the status of Jerusalem, and on the return of refugees, he said.
Abbas in turn called the Netherlands a "very important" country in the peace process, precisely because it maintained close links with Israel.
"It (the relationship) doesn't disturb us at all. They play a very important role and the Palestinian people are very appreciative of their help," Abbas said.
He added: "We accepted the principle of President Obama's 1967 border plan. We will continue to have negotiations."
US President Barack Obama has insisted on a Middle East deal based on 1967 borders, but the US has opposed a Palestinian plan to seek recognition at the UN.
"We will negotiate, but if we fail, we will go to the UN and tell them that we are the only nation still under occupation and we are now looking for our independence," Abbas insisted.
© 2011 AFP