The European Union is getting ready to recognize a Palestinian state if one is declared in September, whether by agreement with Israel or unilaterally, reported Haaretz Monday.
A special committee of EU officials is currently discussing the status of the European consulates in Jerusalem after the EU recognizes a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital, according to the Israeli daily.
In the Berlin Declaration of March 1999, the EU expressed support for the setting up of a Palestinian state and called on both sides to conclude the negotiations within a year.
In return for Yasser Arafat's willingness to postpone the declaration, set for May 1999, most of the EU countries promised to recognize a Palestinian state if Israel and the PA failed to reach agreement by the end of 2000, the daily said.
The United States officially denied that the Berlin Declaration had been coordinated with it, but American sources have said the declaration was preceded by a favorable nod from Washington to Brussels.
Israel's Foreign Ministry fears that France's assumption of the rotating EU presidency at the beginning of next month will further promote Palestinian efforts to invoke the Berlin Declaration, said Haaretz – Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)