Thursday, 17 April 2014

ČR opposes Palestine's bid for UN upgrade

30 November 2012

Prague, Nov 29 (CTK) - The Czech Republic will vote against the recognition of Palestine as a non-member U.N. state with observer status, because it believes the recognition could delay the renewal of the Middle East peace process, the Czech Foreign Ministry said yesterday, answering CTK's question.

Prague believes that the joint goal, which is the state of Israel and an independent, democratic, unbroken and viable state of Palestine, could be achieved only through direct negotiations. Both neighbour states should live in peace with each other, the ministry said.

"We disagree with any unilateral steps that could harm or threaten the peace process leading to a two-states solution," ministry spokesman Vit Kolar said.

Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) indicated earlier that the Czech Republic will not vote for the proposal, but it was not clear whether Prague would vote against or abstain from the vote.

The Czech Republic shares a stand similar to the U.S.

An application for the recognition of Palestine as a U.N. non-member observer state is to be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly in New York by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

If the proposal made it through, the Czech diplomacy is afraid of a delay in the renewal of the peace process.

"We fully support the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations for fully-fledged statehood and we are ready to contribute to its materialisation by backing direct negotiations within the peace process framework," the ministry said.

The Czech Republic has been supporting the Middle East process for a long time, actively and consistently, said Kolar.

"That is why we have been helping the Palestinian self-rule authority with building the necessary state institutions. Palestine also ranks among the main partners the Czech Republic addresses within its development and cooperation aid," Kolar said.

Prague's position on the Palestinian bid is in harmony with its long-term policy and approach to the Palestine-Israeli conflict. In the EU, the Czech Republic is widely considered one of the closest allies of Israel.

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