UK attempts to stop Palestine UN bid
British foreign secretary, William Hague, has met with the head of the Palestinian Fatah party, Mahmoud Abbas, in order to dissuade him from seeking UN recognition of Palestinian statehood.
As the British leaders have found themselves indecisive as to how to respond to the Palestinian Authority's bid to win statehood recognition at the Security Council, Hague tried to prevent Abbas's move in efforts to put an end to the deep uncertainty at the top of British politics.
After the European Union's (EU) foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, failed seek a unanimous response from EU countries, British politicians were left torn between opposing the application and supporting it. The US and its allies like Germany and the Netherlands have already announced their opposition to the move while countries like France, Spain, and Sweden have announced their support.
Liberal Democrats' reported support of Palestinian statehood recognition has further compounded the uncertainty with which British Prime Minister David Cameron is faced. Acknowledging the British leaders' indecision, Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said: “It's a difficult judgement to make, because we all want Palestinian statehood as part of the two-state leadership.”
Furthermore, revelations made about a secret meeting between David Cameron and former British Premier Tony Blair which was arranged by the US secretary of state Hillary Clinton further disclosed the extent of British leaders' desperate need for consensus on the Palestinian statehood issue.
Nevertheless, as Hague attempted to urge Abbas to back down from his diplomatic efforts, he admitted that there was “no progress to report.” In addition, the so-called Middle East quartet, including the UN, EU, US, and Russia, are seeking to suspend a Security Council vote over statehood recognition for Palestine.
However, referring to the Palestinian people's right to be recognized as a sovereign state, Abbas, in an interview with the Palestinian TV, said: “The United Nations was set up to protect the rights of the people, and to help people's self-determination and to prevent occupation of others with force.”