UK could support Palestinian UN bid; Ashrawi says US stance 'pathetic'
Foreign Secretary Hague says UK open to voting in favor of PA's bid 'if we see Palestinian assurances' to return to peace talks, and not try Israel at ICC; Germany to oppose bid. Top PA official says vote 'historic turning point'
RAMALLAH - Britain said it would support a Palestinian bid for
a diplomatic upgrade at
the United Nations if it received assurances that the Palestinians would return to peace talks and would not seek to prosecute
Israelis through the International Criminal Court.
"Up until the time of the vote itself we will remain open to voting in favour of the resolution if we see public assurances by the Palestinians," Foreign Secretary William Hague told parliament on Wednesday.
Conversely, Germany said it will not back the Palestinian bid.
"We are assessing the situation and want as much agreement as possible with our European partners... But it is certain that Germany will not vote for such a resolution," spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference.
'Wrong side of morality.' Ashrawi's press conference in Ramallah (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official with the Palestinian Liberation Organization, urged the US on Wednesday to drop its opposition to the bid, calling Washington's stance "pathetic" and harmful to American interests in the Arab world.
The United Nations is due to hold a vote on Thursday on an upgrade of Palestinian status at the 193-member body to an observer state from an observer entity.
Acceptance of the Palestinians as a non-member state, similar to the Vatican's UN status, would implicitly recognize Palestinian statehood.
Ashrawi told foreign journalists in Ramallah that the Palestinians have already handed in a draft of the resolution ahead of the UN vote and that it would not be revised despite heavy pressure from international elements on the Palestinian Authority.
The top official said being recognized as a state would mark a historic turning point for the Palestinians.
"We are moving ahead. Israel, the US and a handful of other countries will find themselves on the wrong side of morality, on the wrong side of justice and on the wrong side of the law," Ashrawi said.
"By (midnight tomorrow) you will see a vote that will begin a process of historical redemption and healing in Palestine."
Earlier on Wednesday, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark and Norway issued separate statements announcing they will vote in favor of the status upgrade on Thursday.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org