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13 Dec, 2012

Turkey supports Palestine to join UN agencies: Palestinian FM


RAMALLAH, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) — Turkey will support Palestine, now a non-member observer state in the United Nations, to join other bodies of the international organization, Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riad al-Maliki said Wednesday.

Turkey offered the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) a team of experts to advise on legal and political dimensions and what steps they should take to join 16 UN organizations, al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio, speaking from Turkey’s capital Ankara. The team will also help the Palestinians to sign 31 international treaties, al-Maliki said, reiterating that the PNA was not in a rush to join the UN organizations.

In November, the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state, with a voting of 138-9 and 41 abstentions. Israel and the United States were among the nine countries that were against the Palestinian bid.

Al-Maliki said that the PNA wants to avoid international reactions “that may harm us if we joined the UN bodies,” citing that the United States stopped its fiscal aid to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization when it accepted Palestine as a member last year. Upgrading the status of Palestine allows it to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC), an idea opposed by some countries though they supported the Palestinian recognition.

On Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in Turkey that Palestine may resort to the ICC to stop Israel’s settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which have increased as an Israeli response to the UN recognition of the Palestinians.