Sunday Dec 02, 201207:26 PM GMT
Canada recalls diplomats over Palestine vote win
Palestinians wave their national flag as they celebrate their successful bid for UN non-member observer state status in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2, 2012.
Palestinians wave their national flag as they celebrate their successful bid for UN non-member observer state status in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2, 2012.
Sun Dec 2, 2012 7:21PM
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Canada has temporally recalled its envoys to Israel, the occupied West Bank, the UN and Geneva in a show of protest against Palestine’ successful request to upgrade its status to a non-member observer state in the United Nations.


On Friday, Foreign Minister John Baird pledged to "review the full range of its bilateral relationship" with the Palestinian Authority in the wake of the vote, CBC news agency reported.

The remarks come amid speculation that Canada will ask the Palestinian delegation in Ottawa to leave, or not renew its $300 million in assistance to the Palestinian Authority over five years.

Pundits argue that Canada, once seen as a mediator, is now on the sidelines in any negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"This government has actually made it more difficult for Palestinian representatives to enter our country. We know that, because visas have not being given,” Paul Dewar, the foreign affairs critic of the New Democratic Party (NDP), said.

He said that the NDP, if it were to form the government, would not have voted against the resolution.

Diplomacy does not work by issuing ultimatums or by theatrics at the General Assembly, Dewar pointed out.

The United Nations General Assembly on November 29 endorsed an upgraded UN status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.

The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions.

Canada joined the ranks of the Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, and the United States to vote against the Palestinian bid.

The resolution elevates their status from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state," the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.

As a nonmember state in the UN, the Palestinians can join UN agencies and the International Criminal Court, where they can press war crime charges against Israel.

MP/JR
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