Friday, July 31
Latest News
  1. Turkey probes Kurdish leader, ramps up air strikes against PKK
  2. Israel PM calls Palestinian toddler death 'act of terrorism'
  3. PLO holds Israel government 'fully responsible' for toddler's death
  4. IMF approves $1.24 bn Iraq emergency lifeline
  5. Egypt, Saudi sign pact to boost military ties
  6. Embassy: US delivers F-16s to Egypt ahead of Kerry visit
  7. In Iraq bastions, PKK braces for new war with Turkey
  8. Five dead in attacks as Turkey battles PKK
  9. Pakistan says second round of Afghan-Taliban talks postponed
  10. Humanitarian chief: Yemen blockade 'killing' civilians
  11. OPEC chief says oil cartel 'not ready' to cut production
  12. Syrian Kurds refine oil for themselves for first time
  13. Deadly car bomb hits Yemen capital as fighting rages in south
  14. Army: Nigeria appoints new head of multinational force on Boko Haram
  15. Analysts: Allies tolerate Turkey's double game to boost IS fight
  16. Afghan Taliban unaware of peace talks, no comment on Mullah Omar
  17. At least 12 dead as truck hits pilgrims in Mexico
  18. White House: Report of Mullah Omar death 'credible'
  19. Federal Reserve holds key rate unchanged
  20. Kuwait's Zain telecom Q2 profit dives over Arab unrest

Palestine envoy says Beijing backs UN entry

Nov. 23, 2012 1:15 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2012 1:05 P.M.)
By: Michael Martina
BEIJING (Reuters) -- President Mahmoud Abbas' envoy to China said on Friday that Beijing backs their United Nations membership bid, a day after France indicated it would support a diplomatic upgrade for Palestine.

Bassam al-Salhi, in China on a three-day trip to discuss tensions in Gaza, echoed earlier calls from China's Foreign Ministry that Beijing would support Palestinian statehood and its entry into the United Nations.

"They (China) support the Palestinian right for ending occupation and building a Palestinian state ... and support the bid of the Palestinian membership in the United Nations," al-Salhi told Reuters in an interview after meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

China's official Xinhua new agency quoted Yang as saying China "supports Palestine's entry into the United Nations and other international organizations and understands, respects and backs Palestine's bid for the UN observer status".

After their drive for full UN membership failed in the UN Security Council last year amid US opposition, the Palestinians have launched a watered-down bid for recognition as a "non-member state", similar to the Vatican's UN status.

This request can be approved by the 193-nation UN General Assembly and seems certain to pass.

Washington says it favors eventual statehood for the Palestinians, but wants it to come as a result of negotiations with Israel. The United States can block full recognition of Palestine as a UN member at the Security Council, where it has a veto.

On Thursday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius indicated support, reminding the French Senate of a campaign promise for international recognition of a Palestinian state made by President Francois Hollande.

Beijing has kept close ties with the Palestinians for decades, but in recent years, it has cultivated stronger relations with Israel, especially in the field of defense.

Al-Salhi downplayed China's new ties while lashing out at the United States, saying Beijing has played an "active and vital" role on Palestine's behalf.

"We could not ask China not to make these ties (with Israel). What we need is more balance from all the international community," al-Salhi said, adding that Washington had "given nothing in the past 15 or 16 years".

A permanent member of the UN Security Council with veto powers, China has kept a low profile in Middle East diplomacy, and had little success in off-and-on attempts over the years to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

China's Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called for both sides to resume peace talks, and said it was concerned about Israel's recent large-scale military operations around Gaza.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015