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Britain and France Will Abtain on Statehood Bid

A United Nations diplomat said that Britain, France and Colombia have decided to abstain during a vote on the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition by the UN Security Council.

The vote on the matter is expected to be held next week.

Neither Britain, France nor Colombia have officially announced their positions on the matter. The diplomat told the BBC that the decision was made during discussions at the UN Security Council.

The United States has already said that it would veto the Palestinian UN membership bid. However, abstentions or opposition from additional countries would harm the Palestinians’ efforts to receive wider European support.

The UN diplomat said that Germany has made known that it will not support the Palestinian bid, without saying whether it would abstain or vote against it.

Britain and France support the establishment of a Palestinian state but they oppose the UN statehood bid because they believe it may hurt efforts to restart peace negotiations with Israel.

On Thursday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that the Palestinians will not accept anything less than full UN membership and do not want an upgrade to an observer state.

Malki told journalists in Ramallah the Palestinians could have won observer state status long ago and were not interested in it now. They currently hold the status of observer entity.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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