(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has urged the European Union to avoid holding its meetings with Israeli officials in West Jerusalem al-Quds.
Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s secretary-general, made the appeal in a letter addressed to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Israeli paper Ha’aretz reported on Sunday.
"I respectfully request that meetings with Israeli diplomats take place in Tel Aviv and not in West al-Quds,” he said.
Israel lays claim to entire Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. Palestinians want its eastern part as the capital of their future state.
According to the daily, annual EU reports have recommended that European officials’ meetings with Israeli authorities forgo Jerusalem al-Quds. The recommendation has, however, gone unheeded so far.
Palestinians say choosing West Jerusalem al-Quds as the venue for such events serves to tacitly approve Israel’s claim on the city.
Since the January inauguration of US President Donald Trump, Tel Aviv has increasingly become emboldened in its expansionist plans for Jerusalem al-Quds.
Trump has said he plans to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and move the American embassy to the city.
Erekat demanded that the EU keep its Israel meetings out of West al-Quds “until the Orient House is reopened and Palestinian officials are able to meet with their diplomatic counterparts in East al-Quds, the capital of the State of Palestine.”
The Orient House, where the PLO used to hold official receptions, was closed by Israel in 2001 during the Second Palestinian Intifada (Uprising) against the Israeli occupation.