As the Palestinian bid for full UN membership is under consideration, Norway has openly supported the move.
Speaking to the UN General Assembly yesterday, Deputy Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said, “Both the Palestinian readiness for statehood and the declarations and commitments they have made should be acknowledged. Norway looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full member of the United Nations.”
He referred to Norway’s 1947 UN vote in favour of establishing two states in the former mandate of Palestine. He also mentioned, “In 1949, we also heeded the call in resolution 181 (II) to give sympathetic consideration to an application by either state for admission to membership in the United Nations. We voted in favour of admitting Israel as a Member State.”
“Norway has consistently stood by Israel and its inherent right to self-defence in accordance with international law. We have also supported the Palestinian right to statehood and the building of the Palestinian Authority. It is legitimate for the Palestinian people to turn to the UN under the current circumstances. This is neither incompatible with a negotiation process, nor an expression of unilateralism.”
Last week, Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre conditionally supported a separate Palestinian state. At the same time, he advised President Abbas against going to the UNSC, as he believed it could backfire. Urging the Palestinian President approach the UN General Assembly instead, he warned, “I believe this could then turn friends into enemies. The Palestinians don’t need these.”
A defiant President Mahmoud Abbas delivered his historic proposal to the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Friday despite Israeli fears of a “train crash”, unperturbed by US veto warnings.
In his speech, the Palestinian President cited last year’s failed negotiations in Washington between the Middle East Quartet and Egyptian and Jordanian participation under the umbrella of President Obama.
He accused the Israeli government of refusing “to commit to terms of reference for the negotiations that are based on international law and United Nations resolutions, and that it frantically continues to intensify building of settlements on the territory of the State of Palestine.”
Referring to Israel as “the occupying power”, he reaffirmed that the PLO and Palestinian people renounce violence, as well as rejecting and condemning all forms of terrorism.
Abbas also expressed the PLO’s willingness to resume talks based on the 1967 borders immediately, on condition that Jewish settlement activities are halted forthwith.
“I would like to inform you that, before delivering this statement, I, in my capacity as President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, submitted to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, an application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with AI-Quds AI-Sharif as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations,” he declared.
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