Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (L) shakes hands with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter upon his arrival for an official visit to Bern, Switzerland, November 15, 2012.
Switzerland has decided to back the Palestinian Authority bid to upgrade Palestine’s United Nations (UN) status from an observer entity to an observer state.
Quoting unnamed sources, Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported on Thursday that Bern reached its decision after Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas visited Switzerland last week.
Following his meeting with Abbas, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter suggested that Switzerland is favorably disposed toward the bid.
The lower house of the Swiss Federal Council has already decided to support Palestine in their bid and the upper house is scheduled to decide soon.
The spokesman for the Swiss Federal Council, Pierre-Alain Eltschinger, said Switzerland’s official decision will be made a day before the UN General Assembly meeting on November 29.
The bid comes after Palestine sought full UN membership at the UN Security Council just over a year ago. The US blocked the decision by using its veto power.
The bid for Palestine’s enhanced non-member state status needs a majority vote from the assembly’s 193 members to win, which critics expect to be tendered and to pass.
If the bid succeeds, it will grant Palestinians access to UN agencies and the International Criminal Court where they can file complaints against the Israeli regime.