Israel" Ignores Visa Requests From EU Delegation to Observe Palestine Elections"

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The EU on Tuesday said "Israel" has not responded to requests to grant visas to its delegation who intend to observe the upcoming Palestinian elections, scheduled for May 22.

On Feb. 8, the EU sent a formal request to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard, said the spokesperson for the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

Europeans said that the absence of the mission will affect the assessment process, however they are considering alternative solutions.

Farid Taamallah, spokesman of the Palestinian Central Election Commission, affirmed the importance of having international and European observers during elections, however, he said that their absence won't affect the electoral process.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called Thursday upon the international community to exert pressure on "Israel" to allow Palestinians in Jerusalem to participate in the upcoming elections.

In a speech at the second ministerial meeting of the Arab-Japanese political dialogue, Maliki said the occupying power should abide by the bilateral agreements and avoid hindering Palestinians’ democratic right to participate in the upcoming legislative and presidential elections.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had earlier highlighted the strong political will of the leadership, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas, and all factions to hold the elections. He called for international and European pressure to oblige "Israel" to respect the agreements signed.

“Signed agreements stipulate that all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, are allowed to participate in the elections, and we want the international community to pressure for this,” he said.

In mid-January, Abbas decreed the first Palestinian elections in more than 15 years and said parliamentary elections will be held on May 22, followed by a presidential vote on July 31.

Source: This news first appeared in the Asharq Al-Awsat, along with the cover photo, captioned as: A graffiti mural of the late George Floyd in Bethlehem, West Bank. (AFP)

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