First Published: 2012-11-28

 

After France, Spain backs enhanced UN status for Palestinians

 

Spanish FM says his country will vote ‘yes’ to Palestinian bid for enhanced UN status.

 

Middle East Online

'It's the best way to move towards peace'

MADRID - Spain said Wednesday it will back a Palestinian bid for enhanced UN status and new global recognition at a General Assembly vote this week.

"Spain will vote 'yes' tomorrow to the Palestinian request in line with our history," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told parliament, adding Madrid's support to that of France and several other European countries.

Spain believed the Palestinian bid to upgrade its rank from a UN General Assembly observer entity to that of a non-member observer state was the best way to move towards peace, he said.

"We would have preferred as a government if we had not been obliged to arrive at a vote because that would have meant that peace negotiations had advanced," he said.

President Mahmud Abbas will submit the request seeking to upgrade their rank from an observer entity to that of a non-member observer state before the UN General Assembly.

If approved by the 193 member states, it will give the Palestinians access to a range of UN agencies and also potentially to the International Criminal Court.

The United States and Israel have opposed the UN application, insisting that only direct talks on a peace accord can produce an agreement that will create a Palestinian state.

"We believe joining this petition will strengthen the position of Abbas who is the one both inside and outside of Palestine who has made a strong bid for dialogue and negotiation," Spain's foreign minister said.

The United States and Israel have opposed the UN application, insisting that only direct talks on a peace accord can produce an agreement that will create a Palestinian state.

France on Tuesday said it would support the Palestinian bid, the first major European power to voice its support.

European Union powers failed to come to a united position on the Palestinian bid.

The Austrian foreign ministry said Tuesday it would back the Palestinian bid, too, and claimed that more than half the European Union's 27 member states would vote for it.

Spain's foreign minister said Madrid would have prefered that the European Union vote together.

"Up to the last second we have been working to achieve consensus among the 27 member states," Garcia-Margallo said. "It was not possible and we have had to take the unilateral option."

Spain backs a solution to the Middle East conflict that results in separate Israeli and Palestinian states through peace negotiations.

 

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking

Saudi king receives Jordan monarch

Palestinians push UN bid to end Israeli occupation