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Palestinian activists seek state recognition from EU

Sept. 12, 2011 2:12 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 13, 2011 12:29 P.M.)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- Pro-Palestinian activists raised a giant Palestinian flag on Monday in front of the European Council building in Brussels.

The 20 meter flag was unfolded by activists from the Avaaz Palestine campaign and Belgian artist Alain de Cleck who simultaneously delivered 913,171 signatures to the EU petitioning for member states to recognize Palestine.

Diplomat for the Palestinian delegation to the EU, Majed Bamya, said it was a historical moment.

"It is a very important moment in our history, where we are seeking international recognition for our state that we've been building for two decades now. And this means that the EU should stand on the right side of history. To support this recognition. They have helped us politically and financially to build a state."

"They have acknowledged our right for self determination three decades ago. It's time to implement this right. And to fulfill it. And this will happen at the UN. We all have a meeting with history," said Bamya standing in front of the giant flag.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed his support for an independent Palestinian state on Friday ahead of discussion at the UN headquarters in New York Sept. 19.

"There will be pressure. There is an American position we need to deal with. We are talking to the Americans. This serves the purpose of peace. It is in line with international law. We are speaking about 1967 borders which are recognised internationally. This is a matter of international consensus that the Palestinians have a right to statehood," added Bamya.

"These shouldn't be empty words and the Israelis have to understand that the international community needs to step in. We need them to step in not only for the Palestinian peoples but for all the peoples of the region including the Israeli people,"

The United States said explicitly it would use its veto in the Security Council to stop any Palestinian bid for full UN membership if the matter went ahead.

Avaaz said YouGov/IFOP opinions polls carried out in Germany, France and UK showed the majority of people were in support of Palestinians having their own state and called for the UN resolution for the recognition of a Palestinian state.
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