Palestinian PM tells British MPs UK has 'responsibility' to recognise his country's statehood
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh insisted that the UK recognise his country as a state in a meeting with British lawmakers on Wednesday.
Shtayyeh hosted 15 parliamentarians from the UK's ruling Conservative Party in Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority (PA), official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
"Britain should recognise the State of Palestine out of the political and historical responsibility that it entails," Shtayyeh was quoted by Anadolu Agency as telling the British lawmakers.
He said this would "protect the two-state solution" in Palestine-Israel.
He also raised Israel's abuses against Palestinians, citing reports from Amnesty International, Israeli NGO B'Tselem and Human Rights Watch which said that Israel is perpetrating apartheid.
Shtayyeh urged that Israel be subject to international law, highlighting accelerated settlement building, killings of Palestinians and financial sanctions unilaterally imposed on the Palestinian Authority.
He also said that the UK should pressure Israel to permit Palestinian elections to be held in occupied east Jerusalem.
While Britain does not currently recognise Palestine, it has friendly relations in Israel.
The UK issued the Balfour Declaration in 1917, supporting "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".
Israel was established in 1948, after British rule in Palestine ended.
Despite calls from activists and opposition lawmakers, last year the British government maintained it "will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace", adding that it supports a two-state solution.