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EU Must Recognise Palestinian Unity Government – de Brún

29 March, 2007

Speaking after a reception in the European Parliament for Mr Bassam Al-Salhi, Minister of Culture in the new Palestinian government hosted by GUE/NGL, Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has called on the EU to support the unity Palestinian government immediately and "lift all forms of sanctions which should not have been in imposed in the first instance".

Ms de Brún said:

" Following the January 2006 Palestinian legislative elections which brought Hamas to power, the international community decided to sanction the government despite the democratic nature of these elections. This decision was deeply undemocratic and has done nothing to contribute to improving the situation in Palestine or assisting in funding a lasting agreement.

" We in Ireland, how have experience of conflict resolution, have watched with increasing dismay the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

"However the new unity government offers a new opportunity for all parties to return to the negotiating table and world afresh for a stable and democratic solution to the conflict based on the right of both Israel and Palestine to self-determination, stability, security and prosperity.

"I am today calling on the European Union to respond positively to the new situation opened up by this agreement, to lift the sanctions and to play a positive part in the search for peace in the Middle East." ENDS

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