Italy, France, Germany and Spain have issued a joint statement expressing "disappointment" at Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas's announcement on Friday that the first Palestinian elections in 15 years would be delayed.
"We take note with disappointment of the decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to postpone the parliamentary elections, which were scheduled to take place on 22 May 2021," read the statement.
"It is our firm belief that strong, legitimate, representative and accountable democratic institutions remain key for Palestinian self-determination and state-building, as well as for the future of the two-state solution," the statement continued.
The statement urged the PA to set a new date for elections "as soon as possible" and called on Israel to allow the polls to take place "across all of the Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem, on the basis of past agreements".
"Alongside our European partners, we stand ready to support free, fair and inclusive elections," the statement underlined.
Abbas's fractured Fatah party was expected to suffer another embarrassing electoral defeat to the Hamas militant group, which slammed the postponement of the vote as "a coup".
Abbas insisted the polls could not be held without the full participation of Palestinians in east Jerusalem. Israel has yet to say whether it will allow voting by mail there as in past elections and has enforced a ban on PA activities, including campaign events.