EU's Solana calls for UN imposed
deadline for Palestinian state

International Christian Embassy Jerusalem | July 13, 2009

The European Union's long-serving top diplomat Javier Solana called on Saturday for the United Nations Security Council to push forward and recognize a Palestinian state by a date certain, even without a final-status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Solana, the EU foreign policy chief, made the remarks during a lecture in London, according to a Reuters report, saying that if agreement between the two sides could not be reached, the UN should proffer its own solution to the conflict. "After a fixed deadline, a UN Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two-state solution," Solana was quoted as saying, adding that such a move should include resolutions regarding borders, the refugee problem, the issue of Jerusalem and security arrangements.

"It would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the UN, and set a calendar for implementation. It would mandate the resolution of other remaining territorial disputes and legitimize the end of claims," Solana was quoted as saying. "If the parties are not able to stick to [the timetable], then a solution backed by the international community should be put on the table," he said.

On Sunday, Israelís Foreign Ministry dismissed Solanaís proposal as "dangerous," insisting that "resolutions 242 and 338 of the UN, the Roadmap, and agreements between Israel and the Palestinians all cautiously determine that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be reached through negotiations by the sides."

The exchange comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was firmly rebuffed over the weekend by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas for calling on both sides to resume negotiations immediately without preconditions. Abbas reiterated on Sunday that he would continue to refuse to meet with Israeli leaders to restart peace talks until Netanyahu accepts the two-state solution and agrees to freeze all construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

PA leaders also rejected recent efforts by the US and Israel to work out a compromise deal that would allow for continued "natural growth" in the settlements, insisting it was an unacceptable "half-solution."

Reports in recent days have suggested Washington and Jerusalem are closing in on such a deal: Israel would declare a temporary moratorium on new settlement building while being allowed to finish more than 2,000 housing units already under construction; the Obama administration, meantime, would be working to bring in more Arab states interested in reconciling with Israel.