World News

US stops UN from recognising a Palestinian state through membership

The United States on Thursday effectively stopped the from recognising a Palestinian state by casting a veto in the Security Council to deny Palestinians full membership of the world body.

It vetoed a draft resolution that recommended to the 193-member UN General Assembly that “the State of Palestine be admitted to membership” of the UN Britain and Switzerland abstained, while the remaining 12 council members voted yes. The United States continues to strongly support a two-state solution.

This vote does not reflect opposition to Palestinian statehood, but instead is an acknowledgment that it will only come from direct negotiations between the parties,” Deputy US Ambassador to the UN Robert Wood told the council.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the US veto as “unfair, unethical, and unjustified,” saying in a statement that it challenged “the will of the international community, which strongly supports Palestine’s full membership.”

The Palestinian push for full UN membership came six months into a war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, and as Israel is expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz commended the United States for casting a veto, adding: “The shameful proposal was rejected. Terrorism will not be rewarded.”

The Palestinians are currently a non-member observer state, a de facto recognition of statehood that was granted by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

But an application to become a full UN member needs to be approved by the Security Council and then at least two-thirds of the General Assembly.

“We believe that such recognition of Palestinian statehood should not come at the start of a new process, but it doesn’t have to be at the very end of the process. We must start with fixing the immediate crisis in Gaza,” Britain’s UN Ambassador Barbara Woodward told the council.

Source: eNCA

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