NZ supports Palestine’s UN bid
Fri, 30 Nov 2012 8:32a.m.
By Kim Choe
Foreign Minister Murray McCully says New Zealand will support Palestine’s bid to gain recognition as a state by the United Nations General Assembly.
The vote on whether to upgrade Palestine’s status from “observer” to “nonmember observer state” takes place this morning (NZ time) and Palestine is expected to succeed.
Mr McCully says New Zealand’s vote reflects a long-standing policy of the New Zealand Government.
“New Zealand is a long-standing supporter of the two-state solution,” he says.
“We believe that Israel and a Palestinian state should exist side by side, each respecting the other’s right to peace.”
But he acknowledges a UN resolution won’t end the dispute, calling it “a poor substitute for direct negotiations between the two parties.”
“We remain frustrated that two leaders who live half an hour up the road from each other cannot meet to resolve these matters directly.”
New Zealand’s vote will put it at odds with the United States, Israel, Germany, Canady, the Netherlands and Australia, who are all either opposing or abstaining.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard had planned to vote against the resolution, but was overruled by her Cabinet colleagues and will abstain.
France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland are all supporting Palestine.
Mr McCully says it’s not unusual for New Zealand to disagree with Australia and the US on Middle East issues.
“We’ve got an independent foreign policy, we make our own evaluation… I think New Zealand’s in the right place, given the traditional approach we’ve brought to this issue.”
Mr McCully dismissed suggestions New Zealand’s stance would become a sore point with the US.
“We’re grown-up countries. We talk to each other about these things, we agree to disagree on some things. It’s a disagreement over degrees rather than substance.”
The Green Party has welcomed the Government’s decision, saying it will increase the chances of Israel and Palestine reaching a “credible and enduring political settlement”.
“New Zealand needs to make sure that Palestine and its people enjoy the rule of international law and secure their legitimate political rights,” says Green Party global affairs spokesman, Dr Kennedy Graham.
Mr McCully says New Zealand will also make clear to the UN that it supports Israel’s right to safety and security and condemns the recent actions of Hamas extremists in Gaza.
He says New Zealand supports the leadership of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Watch a live stream of the General Assembly plenary meeting on Palestine below.
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3/12/2012 11:45:54 a.m.
'Paul' What you say about Hamas is right and the fact Hamas is in control of most of the Palestinian areas makes any 'Palestinian State' an enemy of Israel with the stated intent of Israel's destruction.
Until Hamas and the Palestinian people officially recognise Israel as a legal entity in its own right and agree to stop their continuing aggression against Israel by signing a peace treaty, there is no reason they should have a state of their own recognised first, simply because they currently don't deserve to be one.
All Israel asks is for the aggression stops and Hamas agrees to peace talks with Israel, but Hamas refuse to recognise Israel and refuse to be part of any discussion involving Israel. Until Hamas and the Palestinian people accept aggression is not the way to the future, there can be no peace in their region.
2/12/2012 12:02:54 p.m.
"CJ" Cathy is perfectly correct. All victors have the opportunity to gain something when they win a war and the so called "Spoils of war" may be part and parcel of the victory. In Israel's case as in 1967 and since, they only defend themselves against the surrounding Arab countries aggression when they attacked Israel. Israel defeated the lot of them and created barriers of land around them with the land they won which they have since handed back to those countries who accepted their defeat and agreed to live in peace. Only Hamas would not agree and they continue to attack Israel. Until Hamas also sign a peace agreement and accept Israel has a right to exist, they don't deserve recognition themselves.
1/12/2012 3:23:23 p.m.
Their right as the victors? Their are no "rights" when it comes to war and no side really wins.
30/11/2012 9:15:43 p.m.
VICKY. The world is sick of Hamas and the Palistinians not agreeing to accept Israel has a right to exist in the area designated by the United Nations for it to be. If Hamas and the Palistinians stopped firing rockets at the Israel, there would be no more problems. The last time the Arabs made war on Israel they lost and Israel used the land they won to create a buffer between their country and the Palistinians as was their right as the victors.
30/11/2012 12:03:09 p.m.
congratulations Palestine, you deserve this and much more, so glad to see many european countries deciding to come down on the right side of history
this is a good day and a lesson to Israel/US the people of the world are sick of your wars
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