Earlier, a decision to support Palestine’s bid was announced by Russia, France and Switzerland, with Germany and the U.S. opposing.
Estonia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday the country will abstain from voting in the UN General Assembly on this issue on November 29.
Palestine may see its status in the United Nations rise from observer entity to observe state. The issue will be voted upon at the UN General Assembly in the nearest future. A simple majority is needed for the Palestinian bid to win the assembly’s approval. Chances of a “yes” vote are very high.
The Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesman Alexander Lukashevich on Wednesday reiterated Moscow’s support for a higher UN status for Palestine with China and France also ready to back it, despite strong objections from Washington. Earlier, U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that if Palestine’s status bid is put to a vote at the UN, the United States will vote against.
Britain has long been uncertain, looking back at its American ally, but the signs are that London has eventually decided that the position held by the majority of UN Security Council members stands more to reason. On Friday, UK media reported that Britain would recognize Palestine as an independent state and support its bid for non-member observer status at the UN.
Russian political analyst Stanislav Tarasov gave his comment:
"Granting UN observer status to the Palestinians is an overdue necessity. In all probability, recognition of the Palestinian statehood will be accelerated. Why? Because Hamas is a radical Islamic group, while Mahmoud Abbas means a secular government. If the West sinks Abbas by denying the Palestinian Autonomy a higher UN status, it will thereby strengthen Hamas."
If Palestine does obtain the non-member observer state status, some problems may emerge. Thus, the 1993 Oslo accords between Israel and Palestinians, which commit both sides to refrain from unilateral steps on key bilateral issues, may be put on hold because Mahmud Abbas did not coordinate the statehood bid with Israel, says Dmitry Maryasis, an expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
"The fact that the Palestine National Administration chief took the issue of statehood directly to the UN without coordinating it with Israel shows that de facto Palestine has renounced the Oslo accords. But that means that Israel also has a right to unilateral steps without coordinating them with Palestinian leaders."
Contrary to expectations, the Oslo accords have failed to bring peace to the Middle East. Both sides repeatedly took unilateral steps in matters they were supposed to negotiate. Abbas and his Fatah party are pursuing their political goals. So while on the whole agreeing to support the Palestinian bid, many countries expect Abbas to resume peace talks with Israel. Judging by his latest statements, he is ready to take responsibility.
Germany will not back a Palestinian bid for a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations, the government spokesman said on Wednesday.
The United Nations is due to hold a vote on Thursday on an upgrade of Palestinian status at the 193-member body to an observer state from an observer entity.
"We are assessing the situation and want as much agreement as possible with our European partners... But it is certain that Germany will not vote for such a resolution," spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference.
Britain said it would support a Palestinian bid for a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations if it received assurances that the Palestinians would return to peace talks and would not seek to prosecute Israelis through the International Criminal Court.
"Up until the time of the vote itself we will remain open to voting in favour of the resolution if we see public assurances by the Palestinians," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament on Wednesday. The United Nations is due to hold a vote on Thursday on an upgrade of Palestinian status at the 193-member body to an observer state from an observer entity.
Acceptance of the Palestinians as a non-member state, similar to the Vatican's U.N. status, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood.
Voice of Russia, Reuters, RIA