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UN to vote on Palestine flag raising draft next week: Envoy

4 September 2015 14:25



A draft resolution on hoisting the Palestinian flag at the UN headquarters is set to be put to a vote next week, the Palestinian envoy says.

Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour said on Thursday that the General Assembly is scheduled to vote on the Palestinian proposal on September 10, stressing, “We have the votes and we are working to get as many votes as we can.”

The draft resolution of the Palestinian proposal, which suggests that the flags of Palestine and the Vatican be raised alongside the flags of the 193 UN member states, was submitted to the General Assembly on August 27.

The measure is believed by many to garner a majority of votes in the 193-nation forum.

The resolution says that the flags of non-member observer states “shall be raised at the United Nations Headquarters and Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations.”

If the draft is adopted, the UN will have 20 days to carry out the decision.

“It is a symbolic thing but it is another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena and give our people a small hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine,” Mansour added.

The Palestinian observer mission to the United Nations also issued a statement on Wednesday, calling on the the world body’s member states to support the move.

“We… respectfully appeal to the member states of the General Assembly to support the draft resolution on the raising of the flags of the non-member observer states,” the Palestinian mission’s statement said.

The Palestinian move has irked Israeli authorities, with the regime’s envoy to the UN calling the move a bid to “score easy and meaningless points at the UN.”

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.

On November 29, 2012, the General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the United States.

Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine on October 30, 2014, drawing stringent criticism from Israel and the US. The Vatican has also officially recognized Palestine as a state.

Parliaments in many European countries, including France and Greece, have supported the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state.

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