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Palestinians win UN state recognition with huge margin

Friday November 30, 2012 08:58:23 AM, Agencies

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New York: The UN General Assembly Thursday recognized with overwhelming support the Palestinian Authority as a non-member observer state.

The Palestinian bid, submitted by President Mahmoud Abbas, was approved by 138 UN members, while nine voted against it and 41 abstained from voting.

 

A Palestinian flag was quickly unfurled on the floor of the General Assembly, behind the Palestinian delegation.

 

The move amounts to an implicit recognition of the Palestinian statehood and increases PA's chances of joining other UN bodies. It also allows the Palestinian Authority to challenge the continuing construction of Israeli settlements on the occupied Palestinian land in the International Criminal Court.

 

The vote, which was taken at a meeting of the body at its New York headquarter, represents a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but a diplomatic defeat for the US, with 138 countries voting in favour of the upgrade.

Abbas urged the US General Assembly before the historic vote "to issue the birth certificate of Palestine".

He also reiterated that the Palestinians would continue their efforts to achieve a fully-recognized statehood.

Abbas submitted Palestine's official application for recognition as an independent state in the UN in September 2011. That bid was blocked by a US veto in the Security Council.

Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip greeted the Thursday vote with high jubilation as it formally gives them global recognition.

The Palestinian Authority, which earlier enjoyed a "permanent observer" status at the UN, now joins the Vatican as the only other entity with non-member observer state status.

Exactly 65 years ago, on Nov 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution calling for Palestine to be partitioned between Arabs and Jews, allowing for the formation of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948.

The Palestinians rejected that partition plan, and decades of tension and violence have followed.

The Palestinians demand the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, the territories captured by Israel in the 1967 war, as a precondition for peace talks with Tel Aviv.

 

Immediately after the results were announced, US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice reiterated the US opposition to upgrading the Palestinians to a nonmember an observer "entity".

"Today's unfortunate and counter-productive resolution places further obstacles in the path to peace. That is why the United States voted against it," she said.

"The backers of today's resolution say they seek functioning, independent Palestinian state at peace with Israel so do we. But we have long been clear that the only way to establish such a Palestinian state and resolve all permanent status issues is through the crucial if painful work of direct negotiations between the parties."

The US and Israel voted against recognition, joined by Canada, the Czech Republic, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.






 

 

 


 

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Picture of the Day

President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chairperson, National Advisory Council Mrs Sonia Gandhi with the winner of Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on November 22, 2012.

 

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