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Norway Opts to Wait on PA Statehood Bid

Norway supports the Palestinian Authority's right to recognition of statehood – but is not quite ready to put its UN vote there yet.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 7/18/2011, 11:00 PM / Last Update: 7/19/2011, 4:08 AM

Flash 90

Norway supports the Palestinian Authority's right to recognition of statehood – but is not quite ready to put its United Nations vote there yet.

Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Stoere told PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the Scandinavian nation Monday that it was “perfectly legitimate” for the PA to take its case for statehood to the U.N.

Norway also upgraded the status of the PA representative to Oslo, granting the position ambassadorial status.

But he said he first wants to see the text of the PA proposal for the resolution on statehood before deciding how to vote.

“We will consider very carefully the proposed text that is to be put forward by the Palestinians in the coming weeks,” he said at a joint news conference with Abbas.

A vote on recognition of the PA as a new Arab country could go straight to the U.N. General Assembly. Even if approved, such a resolution would carry no real authority, as PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad himself has noted.

Any bid for U.N. membership, on the other hand – which would indeed confer legitimacy – requires approval by the Security Council. The United States, one of the Council's five permanent members, has already announced it will veto any such move by the PA.

Stoere added that continued negotiations with Israel will be a necessary component regardless of what happens at the U.N.

“I don't think that any Palestinians or anybody around the world are in doubt that Norway supports the Palestinians' right to statehood,” he told reporters. “[But] that has to be accompanied by a process of negotiation, which at the moment is stalling.”