Norway to back upgraded UN status for Palestine

11/28/2012 07:53

This file picture shows Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arriving to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and hand over a formal letter for Palestine to be admitted as a state, during the 66th UN General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 23, 2011.OSLO: Norway, once host of the negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords, will back the Palestinian demand to obtain the status of a non-member observer state at the UN, its foreign minister said.

"Norway will vote yes to an upgraded status for Palestine at the UN General Assembly. The draft resolution is balanced and constructive," Espen Barth Eide wrote on social networking site Twitter.

The minister later told public broadcaster NRK that the decision was based on the need to give "a new impetus" to the stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and to strenghten the position of President Mahmoud Abbas, who will be submitting the request to the UN.

Abbas' Fatah movement, which governs the West Bank, has been marginalised by the recent Israeli offensive in the Gaza strip against the group's main rival, Hamas, Eide said.

The Palestinian delegation at the UN, currently an "observer entity", on Monday issued a draft resolution giving it a rank that would enable Palestine to join the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The Palestinians are poised to gain the backing of a majority of the UN's 193 member states, but face opposition from the US, Israel and some European countries.

The 1993 Oslo Accords were intended to pave the way for a full resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and led to the creation of the Palestinian Authority, which was to govern parts of the occupied West Bank and Gaza until a final agreement.


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