Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel in Europe, Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope, this week spoke out against attempts to unilaterally recognise a Palestinian state at Thursdays’s Conference of Group Presidents, where he represented the European and Reformists Group (ECR).
The Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber argued that a Palestinian state must only be recognised at the appropriate time, and after direct peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Mr Kirkhope also asserted that nothing should be done to give legitimacy to Hamas in particular.
A proposal had been made at the meeting by representatives from far left to change the name of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council to the ‘Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian State’.
The ECR voted with the European People’s Party and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) to strongly oppose referring the proposal to the full plenary of the European Parliament. However, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) voted to support the proposal.
Mr Kirkhope MEP as Deputy Chairman of the ECR has underlined that the ECR Group will vote against any such proposal.