The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) criticized Nigeria on Wednesday over its abstention during a UN vote on Palestinian statehood on Tuesday.
In a statement quoted by the Ma’an news agency, the representative Muhannad al-Akluk, said Nigeria’s move was a "big disappointment", adding that voting against “Palestine” despite being a member of the OIC was a "clear contradiction."
He also claimed that Nigeria’s abstention violated numerous resolutions passed at the Islamic organization's summits.
The PA’s resolution calling for Israel to withdraw from Judea and Samaria by 2017 was defeated in the Security Council when it received eight votes, one short of the number required to pass it.
Reports said that it was Nigeria which made the difference in the resolution failing to pass, as it had been expected to vote in favor but then decided to abstain.
Al-Akluk added in his statement that the United States' stand against the “Palestinian cause” and the resolution were not a surprise, but that Nigeria's abstention from voting was a "shock" and a disappointment for Palestinian Aras.
The representative also said in the statement that such attitudes stand in opposition to the Islamic context and must be dealt with inside the OIC, highlighting the "unacceptable" contradiction that a member state of the group abstained from voting while European states voted in favor of the resolution.
Nigeria maintains close ties with Israel Its president, Goodluck Jonathan, visited Israel last October, marking the first time the first time that a Nigerian president visited the Jewish state. During that visit, Nigeria and Israel signed an agreement allowing direct air travel between both countries.
Several months ago, Israel sent two anti-terror experts to Nigeria to join the search for a group of schoolgirls who were kidnapped by terrorists from Boko Haram.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked Nigeria for its abstention at the vote. He also thanked Rwanda, another country that abstained, saying the two countries’ leaders personally assured him they would not support the PA’s bid.