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Home > Region
 
Switzerland to support Palestinian UN bid

(AFP) / 22 November 2012

Switzerland has decided to support a Palestinian bid for observer status at the United Nations when it is presented next week, Swiss public broadcaster RTS reported Thursday.

Bern reached its decision after president Mahmud Abbas’s visit to Switzerland last week, RTS reported, quoting unnamed sources.

After his meeting with Abbas, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter hinted that Switzerland was leaning towards supporting the bid.

The Swiss Federal Council, or government, confirmed to AFP in an email that it had discussed the issue on Wednesday and had reached a decision.

But Bern would only officially announce its decision on November 28 after talks with the foreign policy commissions of both houses of parliament, which have a say in the matter, said spokesman Pierre-Alain Eltschinger.

The lower house’s commission on Tuesday backed the proposal, but the upper house commission has still to decide, RTS reported.

President Abbas is scheduled to put the Palestinian bid to the UN General Assembly on November 29.

The move, which requires a simple majority, is expected to expected to pass comfortably, despite vigorous lobbying by the United States and Israel to block it.

The bid comes slightly more than a year after the Palestinians sought full UN membership at the Security Council, a request that stalled there due to opposition from the United States, a permanent member and veto-holder. 

 

 

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