VILNIUS, Feb 01, BNS – Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis violated international law and the EU practice during his recent visit to Israel, a Palestinian deputy minister says.
Lithuania has received a Palestinian diplomatic note over the fact that Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon accompanied Skvernelis to the Western Wall in Eastern Jerusalem and that the Lithuanian prime minister did not visit the Palestinian territory.
"It is in violation of the common EU practice, it is in violation of international law and it sends a very negative message to the Palestinian people," Amal Jadou said in a telephone interview with BN.
The usual diplomatic practice for EU representatives is to visit Eastern Jerusalem accompanied by Palestinian representatives, the diplomat said.
In her words, the Palestinian Authority wants to develop more active relations with Lithuania and is considering opening its representation in Vilnius, but the latest development does not contribute to that.
Israeli Ambassador to Lithuania Amir Maimon has posted a photo on Facebook, showing him accompanying Skvernelis to the Western Wall in Eastern Jerusalem.
The majority of the international community consider Eastern Jerusalem a territory occupied by Israel.
During his visit to Israel earlier this week, Skvernelis did not visit the Palestinian territory, despite Lithuania's other leaders usually visiting Ramallah. Israel says Jerusalem is a non-divided capital. Meanwhile, Palestinians consider Eastern Jerusalem the capital of the future state.
"He (Skvernelis – BNS Lithuania) also had a one-sided visit because all other leaders come to both countries: they come to Palestine, they come to Israel. Your prime minister did not approach us, saying that he wanted to have meetings with Palestinian officials, he only came to Israel," Jadou said.
By Vaidotas Beniusis