Palestine expects Lithuanian support in talks with Israel

In an interview to BNS, Jadou said that Lithuania could use its diplomatic channels to encourage Israel to participate in a Paris conference this summer, which is expected to give an impetus to consolidation of Palestine’s statehood.

“I would like to see Lithuania through its diplomatic relations and relations with Israel also passing some positive message to the Israeli government, basically in order to move ahead and commit to a peace process through a negotiated process to the two-state solution and to the creation of the Palestinian state. And I also want to see Lithuania to take up its role within the EU by supporting the French initiative for holding the peace conference,” said the vice-minister.

The French initiative is aimed at resuming the diplomatic negotiations between Israeli and Palestine which were interrupted in April 2014. The initiative has been welcomed by Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas, while Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly pledged to make the decision on whether to participate in the conference once he is officially invited.

Although Lithuania usually does not support initiatives in Palestine’s favour at the United Nations (UN), the vice-minister said she had seen changes in the Lithuanian-Palestinian relations over the past years, especially in “explaining and understanding each other’s positions”.

“By being here, I’m not trying to convince Lithuania to untie Israel. I’m here basically trying to convince Lithuania to become pro-peace and to help in finding the ways to end an unjust occupation of my state and my country,” said Jadou.

The vice-minister applauded the European Union‘s “labelling initiative”, by which EU countries were urged to label the production of Israeli companies on the West Bank as being made in the region rather than “made in Israel”. Meanwhile the Israeli PM dismissed the move as distorted justice.

“The indication of origin or ‘labeling’ is a step in the right direction, but not the crucial step that needs to be taken. The world, the EU, the US – everybody says that the settlements are illegal according to the international law. And the consequence that comes out of that is that the products that are produced in the settlements are illegal and need to be boycotted. That’s the Palestinian position,” Jadou said.

Jadou noted that Palestine had joined the Arab coalition against the Islamic State group – in her words, Daesh (another name of the group) is more than a military movement but an ideological one, therefore, it is crucial to win both the physical and the “ideological war”, she added.

Speaking about the situation in Syria, the diplomat noted that over 400,000 Palestinian refugees had fled to the country since mid-1900s, adding that Palestine wanted to maintain contact with all parties in the Syrian conflict to avoid bloodshed of Palestinian people, also speaking in support of the country’s territorial integrity and Syria’s right to “choose leaders in a democratic manner”. She did not give a clear answer as to whether Palestine supported Russia’s airborne attacks in the region and the aims of the US coalition.

“We want Daesh to be defeated (…), we don’t want Daesh to expand beyond Syria, Iraq to other places in our region,” Jadou concluded.

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