Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is set to ask the European Union to officially recognise the state of Palestine at a meeting with EU leaders on Monday, according to AFP.
The request comes as “a way to respond” to US president Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month and Abbas will “reiterate his commitment to the peace process” in the Middle East, said Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki in an interview with AFP in Brussels.
Abbas will meet EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and foreign ministers on the sidelines of their monthly meeting after Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a similar visit last month.
However, AFP reports that diplomats in Brussels think European recognition of the state of Palestine today is unlikely, and that the best that Abbas can hope to achieve is to make progress towards a “partnership agreement” with the EU.
Abbas had earlier called Trump’s decision “the slap of the century” and said it marked the end of US mediation in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Meanwhile, Patrice Leclerc, mayor of Gennevilliers municipality in France, announced that he would recognise the state of Palestine on Friday, unlike French president Emmanuel Macron, who refuses to do so.
China, on the other hand, has given its support to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to a media report published on Thursday by Xinhua state media.