In advance of the Foreign Secretary’s statement on the UN bid CMEC President, the Rt Hon Nicholas Soames MP, and Chairman, Baroness Morris of Bolton, issue a statement advocating UK support for the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN Security Council:
We believe that Britain should vote in favour of Palestinian statehood at the UN Security Council on November 11th. As a good friend of Israel and Palestine, the UK has always supported a viable sovereign and secure Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel and this vote asks no more than that we should vote accordingly.
This is the time for the UK to stand on the right side of history – especially because of our historical involvement through the British Mandate in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration. Public opinion is strongly on the side of the Palestinians, as shown by opinion polls showing 71% support for the Palestinian bid to be an independent state.
The consequences of an abstention would be severe. The UK cannot support the right to self-determination in every country in the Middle East and then deny the same right to the Palestinians. The World Bank, IMF, UN and EU have all assessed the performance of the Palestinian Authority and reported that it is ready for statehood. President Obama promised in his speech to the UN last year that Palestine would be “a new member of the United Nations” by September 2011. That promise was endorsed by the UK. We should honour that promise.
If the UK supports recognition, this could open the way to negotiations between Israel and Palestine talking to one another for the first time on a basis of equality as neighbours.
If the UK votes against, this would run the risk of playing into the hands of extremists on both sides and spiralling into violence.
Read the Guardian article here: