Germany said on Wednesday it would not vote in favour of a Palestinian bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations, in a move that would bring them new global recognition.
“We are still assessing the situation. We want to vote as closely as possible with our European partners… It is however also certain that Germany will not accept such a resolution,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas is due on Thursday to submit a request seeking to upgrade the Palestinians’ status from an observer entity to a non-member observer state before the UN General Assembly.
If the request is approved by the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly, it would give the Palestinians access to a range of UN agencies and also potentially to the International Criminal Court.
So far France, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland have pledged to vote in favour of the motion, while Britain said it would abstain unless the Palestinians commit to an immediate return to negotiations with Israel.
The move is strongly opposed by the United States and Israel, who say a Palestinian state should only emerge out of bilateral negotiations.
“Our goal in this whole question is to prevent negative effects on the already difficult Middle East peace process,” said Germany’s foreign ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke.
He added that the final aim was to have “a viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated and just two-state solution.”
“We want to prevent, to the greatest possible extent, anything that could be harmful to the creation of a two-state solution,” he said.
Seibert said that Germany’s foreign minister was working “very intensively” towards Europe having the closest possible position on the matter.
“Germany will not vote for such a resolution. Above all, we are talking about it with our partners,” he said.