The Netherlands will not support a Palestinian move for statehood at the United Nations and will continue to push for a resumption of peace talks with Israel, Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has made clear. “It will not be supported by the Netherlands,” he said in The Hague after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas, who was on a three-day visit to the country. The Palestinian leader (pictured above at an earlier meeting with Rosenthal in Ramallah and below with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands) earlier this month urged European Union nations to recognize a ‘State of Palestine’ at the UN’s General Assembly in September.
The Dutch government, however, supports a return to negotiations with Israel based on an agreement around the borders prior to the 1967 Six Day War, Rosenthal said. “We will continue to stress for a restart to direct negotiations. We need direct negotiations right now,” he said, and the issues should include mutual security, an agreement on the status of Jerusalem, and on the return of refugees, he declared.
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, adding: “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 is strongly opposed to Palestinian plans seeking statehood endoresement by 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.