Opposition to Kosovo Independence
Palestine is very strongly against the independence of Kosovo. In February 2008, two senior Palestinian officials representing the Mahmoud Abbas West Bank
-controlling government, who also are part of the team negotiating with Israel, disagreed on what the Kosovo events implied for Palestine. Yasser Abed Rabbo
said, "If things are not going in the direction of continuous and serious negotiations, then we should take the step and announce our independence unilaterally. Kosovo is not better than us. We deserve independence even before Kosovo, and we ask for the backing of the United States and the European Union for our independence". Saeb Erekat
responded that the Palestine Liberation Organization
had already declared independence in 1988. "Now we need real independence, not a declaration," said Erekat, "We need real independence by ending the occupation. We are not Kosovo. We are under Israeli occupation and for independence we need to acquire independence".
After a July 2009 state visit to Serbia, President Mahmoud Abbas
in a meeting with the Serbian President Boris Tadić
, when discussing both the situations in the Middle East and Kosovo said, "We are looking for a way to resolve these problems in a peaceful way, by upholding international law. We cannot impose solutions nor can we accept imposed solutions. That is why we must negotiate".
In September 2011, during the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement
summit in Belgrade, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour
said that Palestine was a "typical foreign occupation which cannot be compared to the issue of Kosovo" as confirmed by international law and the UN.