Thursday, September 13, 2012

Over 60 British MPs Support UN Recognition of Palestine

Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA -
LONDON, September 13, 2012 (WAFA) - Over 60 Members of the British Parliament (MPs) from across seven political parties signed a parliamentary motion supporting UN recognition of Palestine, Thursday said an MPs press release.
The MPs signed the motion after President Mahmoud Abbas declared his intention to ask the UN General Assembly to recognize Palestine as a non-member state when the General Assembly meets between 24 September and 1 October, said the release.
The motion, tabled by Richard Burden MP, has been signed by 61 MPs so far including former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and other former ministers from both Labour and Conservative governments, “That this House supports recognition by the UN of Palestine as a state alongside the state of Israel.”
The motion has received the support of MPs from seven political parties: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Plaid Cymru, SDLP and SNP.
Richard Burden, Labor MP for Birmingham Northfield and Chair of the Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group, said,  “Time after time British ministers have declared their support in theory for a two-state solution in the Middle East. But this is the make your mind up time about whether they mean it in practice.”
“Many MPs found it inexplicable that when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sought recognition of Palestine as a state at the UN Security Council last year, Britain sat on our hands and abstained. At the time, the Foreign Secretary said that different considerations would apply to a vote at the UN General Assembly. So I just don’t think abstention should be an option if, as seems likely, a vote takes place at the General Assembly later this month,” He added.
“Israel is recognized as a full member of the United Nations, with internationally recognized borders delineated by the green line. If recognition is so fundamental in respect of Israel, what is the problem with the UN recognizing Palestine as requested by the Palestinian people, with borders delineated by that same green line?” he said.
“It is time to help level the playing field; an independent and recognized state of Israel alongside an independent and recognized state of Palestine. Both people realizing their legitimate right to self-determination.”