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Britain could support Palestinian UN upgrade bid
Published Wednesday 28/11/2012 (updated) 29/11/2012 13:50
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Activists wear masks depicting (L-R) Spanish Prime Minister Mariano
Rajoy, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela
Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron during a protest in
support of Palestinian statehood outside the EU Council in Brussels,
Nov. 19. (Reuters/Francois Lenoir)
LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain said on Wednesday it would support a Palestinian bid for a diplomatic upgrade at the United Nations if it were assured that Palestine would return to peace talks and would not pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court.

The United Nations is due to hold a vote on Thursday on an upgrade of Palestinian status at the 193-member body to observer state from observer entity.

Acceptance of Palestine as a non-member state, similar to the Vatican's UN status, would implicitly recognise Palestinian statehood.

The change would also allow Palestine to access bodies like the International Criminal Court, which prosecutes people for genocide, war crimes and other human rights violations.

"There is no question of the United Kingdom voting against the resolution. In order to vote for it we would need certain assurances or amendments," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament.

"The first is that the Palestinian Authority should indicate a clear commitment to return immediately to negotiations (on a two-state solution) without preconditions," he said.

"The second assurance relates to membership of other specialized UN agencies and action in the International Criminal Court," he added.

Hague said he had explained to President Mahmoud Abbas that Britain would abstain in the vote if it did not receive those assurances.

Switzerland and Denmark on Wednesday joined a growing list of European countries that back an upgrade for Palestinians to non-member status at the United Nations.

However, Germany said it would not back the Palestinian bid.
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1 ) Julie / USA
28/11/2012 15:38
hahahahahahahahahaa!! um, hey Britain & Germany, guess what? Pals DON'T NEED YOUR VOTES! it's a done deal, regardless. how's that for usurping your false & corrupt powers that be?

2 ) Lynx / Palestine
28/11/2012 16:06
UK and Germany go fornicate yourselves! UK handed Palestine to the Zionists in 1948. Germany perpetrated holocaust against Jews then exported the Jewish problem to Palestine and arms Zionazis to this day with subs and weapons!!

3 ) Britannia ruled by fools / Bring on UKIP
28/11/2012 16:41
Well Mr Cameron and Co. Its time to show the world whether or not you have the balls to stand up and be counted. These people have taken the piss out of Britain ever since its government capitulated to them during the time of the Mandate. Every time we gave, they demanded more. Exactly the same as they still do today. Instead of sitting on your hands at the UN, how about voting NO. Then withdraw British financial support. Why should Brits pull their belts in to pay for this piss taking mob?

4 ) Reader / from Edmonton
28/11/2012 17:07
Britain Wants Pre-Conditions. It's Britain's Divine Right to declare world order. Oh, sorry. That was at different time.

5 ) Pascal Andr? / France
28/11/2012 17:18
Ah, the British, yes they screwed up terribly in Palestine. But very few realises that Britain did NOT vote in favour for the Israeli state in 1948 (they abstained). Apparently one British diplomat at the time said "they [UN] were making a monster [Israel]". In 1938 the British understood that Jewish emigration to Palestine had gone too far and stopped ships from habouring into Palestine, but then the US forced them to let the Jews access Israel. Britain should not get the entire blame.

6 ) gabi / australia
29/11/2012 08:22
Pascal - no the Brits should not get the entire blame. Except they left Palestine inn My 1948 knowing that the Jews had been capturing more land than was allocated to them in the Partition Plan, and knowing that the Palestinians had no real army to defend themselves once the Brits left. Also, they promised the Palestinians they would give them independence if they helped hem get rid of the Ottomans, which they did. In 1917. Why then no independence during the following 30 years?

7 ) Britannia waves the rules / !!!
29/11/2012 22:48
6) gabi, you must have been educated in a Pal school to think that. When we left Palestine, we did so leaving plenty of weapons for Pal Arabs. We also more than fulfilled our obligation to Arabs by giving them an extra state in Jordan, over and above the 20 states we had promised Emir Faisal. "Why then no independence during the following 30 years?" You should ask that question of the Pal leadership, who refused the Partition Plan and Bill Clinton's plan, and now Oslo. Need I go on?

8 ) gabi / australia
30/11/2012 02:05
# 3- the Brits owe it to the Palestinians to vote yes. They promised them independence in 1917, no follow through, and in 1948 left them to the murderous Stern gang Irgun and Haganah who tried to take all of the land before other Arab states came in to defend the Palestinians and what was left of their land. Who's taking the piss? Read more history. And written by historians, not the self-serving victors. Try Illan Pappe, Benny Morris.

9 ) gabi / australia
30/11/2012 02:11
# 7 - Israel also refused the Partition plan - read Ben Gurions' comments when he said he agreed but that didn't mean he was not going to fight to get the whole of the land. And did not accept Jerusalem as an International city. The 30 years I referred to was from '17 to '48. Why should Britain say yes on the proviso that Israel not be taken to the ICC? If they committed war crimes, then they should face them, as should any other country guilty of war crimes. Why try and protect Israel???
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