Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Palestinians hope EU split will help them
by Staff Writers
Brussels (UPI) Nov 30, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Palestinian campaigners and lobbyists said they hope to capitalize on EU divisions over the U.N. vote that gave Palestinians a permanent non-member observer status but it's far from clear if they can succeed.

EU members split on the U.N. General Assembly vote, those backing a Palestinian status upgrade ignoring U.S. and Israeli exhortations but also keeping domestic political landscape in full view.

Leading the "yes" pack, France insisted its support for Palestinian entry as a non-member observer state, next to the Vatican, was consistent with its past policies on Palestinian statehood.

The Palestinian mission in London in a statement said the vote had salvaged the two-state solution.

A stronger interpretation is that the vote irrevocably changes conditions on ground, whether eventually in Palestinians' favor remains unclear, analysts said.

In an indication that major European powers who cast abstentions may be shifting positions to reinterpret their abstentions and possibly reposition themselves, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle followed up one statement Friday with another later in the day, with a stronger message to reinforce Berlin's view the vote was a mandate for direct Israeli-Palestinian talks.

The German comment highlighted the Europeans' not-so-subtle tactic: they abstained to avoid contradicting U.S. and Israeli positions on the Palestinian bid but, once the die was cast, appeared all too keen to be seen closer to the majority that voted a Palestinian observer state in.

"The U.N. vote is a mandate for the parties in the Middle East to enter into direct peace talks now," Westerwelle said after meeting reporters in Berlin. "This decision must be taken as an opportunity to restart direct negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis in order to enable a two-state solution.

"Our objective is and shall remain a fair, negotiated two-state solution, as the only way for the region to achieve lasting peace and stability. That is why this U.N. vote is at one level a mandate to end the current stalemate in negotiations and relaunch direct peace talks," he said.

"The international community will provide constructive support for these efforts."

"It is a shame that the European Union was unable to arrive at a common position in this vote," Westerwelle said.

France and Denmark backed Palestinian admission but the Czech Republic joined the Israel-U.S. minority that opposed the vote. Danish Foreign Minister Villy Sovndal said the U.N. vote would create momentum in the peace process.

The six other states that joined Israel and the United States were: Canada, Palau, Panama, Marshall Islands, Nauru and Micronesia.

Of the 138 countries that voted in favor, 48 states sponsored the U.N. resolution.

There were 41 abstentions, including Britain.

Westerwelle said the vote "will not prevent us from continuing to work together for a negotiated, fair, stable two-state solution which will not only enable Israel to reside within secure borders but also ensure that the Palestinians have their own, secure, independent state."

Analysts said the German comments will make it harder for the "no" voters to issue reprisals, such as the suspension of aid, against Palestinian territories, as was widely predicted before the vote.

French U.N. envoy Gerard Araud said: "The Palestinian initiative comes at a difficult time and its repercussions could be significant.

"But France calls on all parties to understand and acknowledge its critical importance and to respond by the resumption of negotiations and not by reprisals that would serve only the play in the hand of extremists."

"France also calls on the international community -- Americans, Europeans, Arabs -- to unite in this view," Araud said.

He urged Palestinians to "build on this political success" by being more constructive and avoid "sterile confrontations."

The Palestinians' EU representative Leila Shahid told that European support for Palestinians would have important "symbolic" value due to the EU's financial and political clout in the region.

"It will not change anything on the ground, but symbolically and in terms of the legal framework, in terms of the symbolic recognition of the capital and the borders and the right of the refugees, it is very important," Shahid said.

Palestinian campaigners say a U.N. status would help them protect Palestinian land from Israeli settlement expansion.

"There isn't a third alternative -- either you accept the fact that going to the U.N. is a non-violent and diplomatic way of building a Palestinian state, or you can't give moral lessons to the Palestinians and tell them to face (Israeli]) F-16s and F-15s with their bare hands," Shahid said.

A Friday report in The New York Times said Israel was working on the early stages of a settlement project that would mean Ramallah and Bethlehem would be cut off from East Jerusalem. Another 3,000 housing units were planned for East Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

New page in Syria war as rebel missiles hit aircraft
Tourmanin, Syria (AFP) Nov 29, 2012
In less than 24 hours, rebels used surface-to-air missiles to strike down two aircraft in northern Syria, marking a turning point in their war with forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Since the end of July, the Syrian regime has used fighter jets to try to suppress a growing insurgency. The air force has frequently bombarded rebel-held areas across the country, causing high casualtie ... read more

NATO surveys possible missile sites in Turkey: report

Missile wars: Israel's race against time

Israel tests new weapon, but gap remains

Israel reports success in new missile defence test

Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile

Missile test fears shadow S. Korea-China talks

Raytheon opens new Standard Missile factory in Alabama

Hamas arsenal hit but rocket know-how intact

Ground Based Laser System Demonstrates In Tests Against Rockets and UAVs

US drone appears to miss Pakistan target: officials

Driving drones can be a drag

Rise of the Machines: Combat Drones to look for in the near future

General Dynamics Awarded Contract Under New U.S. Army Rapid-Acquisition Communications Program

Astrium to provide military X-band satcoms to six UK Royal Navy vessels

Lockheed Martin to Demonstrate Key Component of Tactical MilSat Communications System

The Skynet 5D secure telecom satellite is received in French Guiana for Arianespace's December Ariane 5 mission

BAE, EXPAL team up for munitions deal

Solar energy eyed for battlefield power

Raytheon awarded contract for Paveway

GD Delivers 1,000th Beryllium Sensor Housing Mast For Kiowa Helicopter

China mourns manager of J-15 jet program

Raytheon receives contract for C4I system for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

US Navy moves to replace presidential helicopters

New arms trade treaty: playing with fire

US 'welcomes' China participation in naval drills

China gives police more sea rights: state media

Angela Merkel, Europe's guiding light and lightning rod

Outside View: The commander in chief

A graphene nanotube hybrid

Penn Researchers Make Flexible, Low-voltage Circuits Using Nanocrystals

King's College London finds rainbows on nanoscale

Optical microscopes lend a hand to graphene research

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement