Posted by Travis Mannon on Sep 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Colombia to abstain from UN vote on Palestinian statehood

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Colombia news - UN

Colombia will abstain from voting for the Palestinian National Authority’s request for statehood in the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council, Colombian and international media reported Monday.

The state’s decision to abstain from voting follows the policy of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin explained, “we want there to be a Palestinian state, but it is desirable, considering more lasting peace,… that it stems from an agreement with Israel so they can live in peace.”

Colombia, one of 10 non-permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, will join the United States in its bid to block a vote in the Security Council. However, should the U.S. fail to gather the seven states necessary to abstain or vote against the proposal to form a blocking minority in the Security Council, it will use its veto power to stop the U.N. from approving of a Palestinian state, a move that would exacerbate its already tense relationship with the Middle East.

Santos will participate in the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday and the Security Council on Thursday. The Colombian president will emphasize the importance of mediation in the Palestinian National Authority’s bid for statehood.

Colombia is the only South American country that does recognize a free and independent Palestinian state.