Friday 15 December 2017

Palestinian flag to be raised at United Nations for the first time

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said it would be a 'a most emotional and proud day'

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

The Palestinian flag is set to be raised for the first time at the United Nations in a move that is likely to cause some controversy.

Israel, the United States and six other countries voted against the motion earlier this month at the UN General Assembly, with Israel's UN representative Ron Prosor saying that the move was a "blatant attempt to hijack the UN".

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

He also insisted that the only way Palestinians could achieve statehood was through direct negotiations, the BBC reported.

The motion was passed by 119 votes - with 45 countries abstaining. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders will speak before the UN this week.

The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said that the decision to raise both the Palestinian and Vatican flags would prove a "most emotional and proud day".

"The sense of pride among the Palestinian people was overwhelming the day the world voted in favour of this landmark initiative," Mr Abbas told the World Post on Tuesday.

"The General Assembly's vote confirmed again that we, the people of Palestine, are not alone in our quest for freedom, fulfillment of our rights."

He also called for a multilateral solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, adding: "The UN must give my people more than hope.

"It is time to finally achieve the independence of the State of Palestine, peacefully resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict – as was promised long ago."

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