An-Najah News - The European Union and the United Nations welcomed Saturday the Palestinian Authority decision to hold national elections next May.

The European Union spokesperson Peter Stano welcomed in a statement the launching of the preparations for Palestinian elections, calling on the Israeli authorities to facilitate the holding of elections across all the Palestinian territory.

"This is a welcome development as participative, representative and accountable democratic institutions are key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building," said the statement

"The EU has in the past years consistently supported and funded the work of the Central Elections Commission in order to prepare for holding free, fair, and inclusive elections for all Palestinians," added the statement.

The EU further affirmed its readiness to engage with relevant actors to support the electoral process.

Also the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed Friday’s announcement by President Mahmoud Abbas of the first full parliamentary and presidential elections in 15 years, scheduled for May and July this year.

"The holding of elections in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza will be a crucial step towards Palestinian unity” and would "give renewed legitimacy to national institutions, including a democratically elected Parliament and Government in Palestine," said a statement issued by António Guterres yesterday.

The UN chief said he hoped that the planned parliamentary elections in May, and presidential vote in July, would "contribute to restarting a process towards a negotiated two-State solution based on the pre-1967 lines, and in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, bilateral agreements and international law."

He said the UN stood ready to support all efforts on the part of Palestinians to be able to exercise their full democratic rights.

Guterres also called on Palestinian authorities "to facilitate, strengthen and support women’s political participation throughout the electoral cycle."

Also The Turkish Consul General in Jerusalem has welcomed the decree issued by President Mahmoud Abbas to hold national elections in Palestine later this year.

“Turkey had long been waiting for a reconciliation between Palestinian parties through elections,” Ahmet Rıza Demirer told Anadolu Agency.

He reiterated Turkey's support for reinstating national unity in Palestine, and urged the international community to respect the results of the elections.

"Turkey previously made a promise to send observers to contribute to a transparent election process," he added.

On Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas enacted a decree-law on holding legislative, presidential, and National Council elections in the coming months starting with legislative elections on May 22th.