Palestine's Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad al-Maliki has rejected US President Donald Trump's proposed Middle East plan, urging Europe, instead, to recognise the state as an independent one, including Gaza Strip and West Bank.
Addressing the European Parliament on Wednesday, al-Maliki said Trump's solution was a truncated and bifurcated piece of land, which was an insult to the Palestinian people and their struggle. He asked the attendees if they would "live in this kind of state?"
"A state where each city, village, and neighbourhood was surrounded by another state which advocated and legitimised apartheid?"
The Palestinian FM stressed that the Israeli occupation needed to end and negotiations between them to start as equal partners that wished for peace. No dictation from the United States or Israel would be accepted as these were the only two countries in the whole world that have been an impediment to peace in the Middle East, he added.
A number of parliamentarian — including European Greens, Social Democrats, Nordic Green Left, and centrists — his comments and condemned Trump's Middle East peace plan in the strongest terms.
While Maria Arena — a socialist member of the European Parliament (EP) and the chair of its Subcommittee on Human Rights — attacked the US president's proposal, numerous right-wing MEPs questioned Hamas and its role, accusing it of motivating Palestinian children towards violence.
In response, al-Maliki said the Palestinians were ready to negotiate without any preconditions but "no matter what, we will never surrender our right to exist as free people".
Speaking to Geo.tv, al-Maliki said the Arab League had rejected the proposal and the world was with the Palestinian people. "Surrendering our right to free state of Palestine is inconceivable," he stressed.
The European Union had earlier already rejected Trump's peace plan although multiple Arab states accepted it. Kuwait, however, objected to it too.