Afpresning på EU-Mellemøst (EMPA) møde i Bruxelles

Hasan Khreishi, deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Monday called for Hamas to be removed from the EU list of terrorist organizations and for continued support for the Palestinian Authority.

"Starvation will push the Palestinian people into alliances you do not wish. A hungry man is an angry man," Khreishi told the annual preliminary session of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly (EMPA) which opened in Brussels Monday.

He condemned the "killings, the kidnappings at the checkpoints" by Israel and called for the publication of an EU report on discrimination against Palestinians in Jerusalem and for European companies to boycott projects such as a tram link between Israeli settlements and Jerusalem.

Moroccan parliament Speaker Abdelwahad Radi said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict continued to be one of the most important obstacles to better relations between the western and the Muslim world: "We will have to talk to each other in order to achieve good neighbourliness. This conflict does not only hold our region hostage, but the entire world."
Josep Borrell, President of the European Parliament and EMPA, in his opening remarks said that relations between Europe and the Muslim world would pose the most important challenge for Europe in the years to come.

On the cartoons furore, Borrell recalled that the EMPA presidium was among the first to deplore them and to call for calm.

Turkish representative Zeynep Uslu said freedom of expression was an essential value, but not a limitless freedom, something the Court of Human Rights had also stated.

"Freedom of expression must be exercised with respect for religions," she said.

EMPA brings together members of parliament from the 25 EU member states, the ten Euromed partner countries (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Palestinian Authority, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey) and members of the European Parliament.
Islamic Republic News Agency

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