Martina Anderson said the international community has a responsibility to help the people of Palestine. Speaking after being elected as chairperson of the European Parliament’s delegation to Palestine, Ms Anderson said;
“It is an honour to have been elected as chairperson of the EU’s delegation to Palestine and I will use the position to work everyday to improve the lives of the Palestinian people.
“From our experience in the peace process, we know the importance of dialogue and inclusivity and I will bring that experience to this position.
“I welcome the fact that the Palestinian unity government held its first meeting in Gaza last week. That sends a clear message to the world and I am encouraging the international community to recognise that.
“In particular, I am calling on the Irish government to follow the example of Sweden in giving full recognition to the state of Palestine.
“The international community, and the European Union in particular, has a responsibility to act to end the suffering of the Palestinian people and help find a sustainable solution to the problems in region.
“I am calling for the European Union to implement the recommendations of the Russell Tribunal, which held a hearing on Palestine in Brussels recently.
“The Israel-EU Association Agreement should be suspended immediately because of the human rights abuses carried out by Israel. The EU-Israeli scientific agreement must also be suspended.
“I look forward to working with the chair of the EU’s delegation to Israel. Clearly we have differing views but we need to find a way to work together as MEPs to find common ground.”