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Germany to abstain from UN Palestine vote
Published Thursday 29/11/2012 (updated) 30/11/2012 10:14
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File picture shows the European Union flag above the cupola of
the Reichstag building in Berlin. (Reuters/Thomas Peter)
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Germany said it would abstain in a vote on Thursday at the UN General Assembly on changing the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic status, citing fears that it could be counterproductive to the peace process.

"We did not take this decision lightly. Germany shares the goal of a Palestinian state ... but the decisive steps towards real statehood can only be the result of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians," Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement.

The assembly is set to implicitly recognize a sovereign state of Palestine by approving a Palestinian resolution that would change their UN observer status from "entity" to "non-member state," like the Vatican.

Israel, the United States and a handful of other members are planning to vote against what they see as a largely symbolic and counterproductive move by the Palestinians. Berlin's decision to abstain rather than to vote against is a blow to Israel, which counts on Germany as a firm ally.

Germany said earlier this week it could not support the resolution, which has the support of more than a dozen European nations, but did not initially make clear if it would vote against or abstain.

"In our view there are doubts over whether the desired move by the Palestinians today is supportive for the peace process. We fear it could lead rather to a hardening of views," Westerwelle said.
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1 ) AKeenReader / UK
29/11/2012 10:42
Why change their mind to abstain when they have been saying all along that that they will vote against? I expect they now realise that they are in a minority and thus will loose face in front of all those countries who will vote in favour. Germany should stop feeling the gulit for the holocust and vote for human decency and not becuase of guilt. Israel continues to take advantage of the past.

2 ) AKeenReader / UK
29/11/2012 12:52
Stuff the Germans cos the palestinians have enough votes to get the upgrade status. Now most of these countries realise that they will be the odd one out so decided to abstain. Hypocrates.

3 ) shirley / australia
29/11/2012 13:23
this Hypocrite MERKEL who said to ABBASS a few yrs ago pals had to be more willing to compromise while pals ahd only 22% left Rabbi merkel hs never supporeted pal state ever and pals shoukld except the realitythat some of those fawning peace are really supporting the destruction ofapalestine state foreverand using going back to talks as way to achieve it

4 ) shirley / australia
29/11/2012 13:44
Again Germany on the war mongering side of history under MERKEL she for yrs esculated the afaghan war and would not allow nato to back down driving the war forwards first with Bush then Obaama she could not bear to allow truth taliban not to blame for 9/11 MERKEL will not be missed and all lies about support pal state Abstaining is cunning way out

5 ) Carlos / usa
29/11/2012 18:38
Who cares what Germany thinks. Guido likes it when Palestinian children are murdered by israel. Guido sells nuclear capable subs to the most reckless and racist regimes in the world israel then says he wants human rights? Please shut up you talking has exceeded your intelligence.

6 ) Jerusalemite / Palestine
29/11/2012 19:02
Germans are still washing their hands in Palestinian blood like most of Europeans !!! a day, German's regime should be charged by Palestinians.

7 ) Birgitta / Sweden
30/11/2012 00:08
Mabrouk Palestine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8 ) jafar / U.K
30/11/2012 12:50
The only thing i can't understand from all this is how the english are thinking when they take a decision on some thing clearly the blind can see. They should be the first to support this, but they see thing from one side only, the problem is they are the one behind this cancer in middle east.
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