Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hague sets out UK strategy for Palestinian UN vote

Foreign Secretary William Hague has detailed the conditions under which the UK would vote in favour of enhanced status for the Palestinian Authority (PA) at the UN.

A resolution according the Palestinians the status of "non-member observer state" at the UN will be put to a vote at the UN General Assembly on Thursday. The PA currently has observer status as a non-member entity.

In a Commons statement on 28 November 2012, Mr Hague said that to win the UK's vote the PA must agree to take part in unconditional peace talks with Israel and not to apply to join the International Criminal Court.

If these assurances were not received the UK would abstain, he said.

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander told MPs: "When will the foreign secretary understand: statehood for the Palestinians is not a gift to be given, but a right to be acknowledged.

"I warn the foreign secretary, if the UK abstains tomorrow it will not be a measure of our growing influence, it will be a confirmation of our growing irrelevance to meaningful engagement in the search for peace."

France, Spain and Norway are among those set to vote in favour of the bid. But Israel and the United States remain opposed, arguing that a lasting settlement can only come about through bilateral negotiations.

An attempt by Palestinians to gain full member statehood of the UN failed in 2011.

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