Spain backs enhanced UN status for Palestinians



Spain: Spain said Wednesday it will back a Palestinian bid for enhanced UN status and new global recognition at a General Assembly vote this week. "Spain will vote 'yes' tomorrow to the Palestinian request in line with our history and because we believe it is the most appropriate solution to move towards peace," Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told parliament.

"We would have prefered as a government if we had not been obliged to arrive at a vote because that would have meant that peace negotiations had advanced," he said. President Mahmud Abbas will submit the request seeking to upgrade their rank from an observer entity to that of a non-member observer state before the UN General Assembly.

If approved by the 193 member states, it will give the Palestinians access to a range of UN agencies and also potentially to the International Criminal Court. The United States and Israel have opposed the UN application, insisting that only direct talks on a peace accord can produce an agreement that will create a Palestinian state.

France on Tuesday said it would support the Palestinian bid, the first major European power to voice its support.

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