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Palestinians hopeful of Swedish UN vote

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Palestinians hopeful of Swedish UN vote
13:07 CEST+02:00
The new Palestinian ambassador to Sweden, Hala Husni Fariz, is hoping that Sweden will vote in favour of the Palestinian territories at least getting non-member permanent observer status in the General Assembly, the same as Vatican City, if the matter is brought up before the UN' next week.

”I would be surprised if Sweden doesn't vote yes,” she said in an interview with news agency TT, adding that she thinks the majority of EU countries will do the same.

Things are hectic for Hala Husni Fariz at the moment. It wasn't until last week that her status as general delegate was upgraded to the role of ambassador to Sweden by the Swedish government.

”It was proof that the Swedish support for our efforts in building up our own state and civil service,” said the ambassador.

The government, as well as foreign minister Carl Bildt, were slammed over the decision by the Liberals' and the Christian Democrats' spokespeople on foreign policy.

”It is regrettable that Carl Bildt has made this decision and it is unfortunate that it happens just at the time when the UN is set to discuss the recognition of the Palestinian state,” the Liberal's Fredrik Malm said to TT at the time.

It was feared among government parties that this upgrade precluded Sweden's vote in the General Assembly discussion on the Palestinian territories.

“I am surprised that the decision for the change comes now when the issue is such a hot potato in the UN,” Desirée Pethrus of the Christian Democrats told TT lafter the news broke.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has time and again explained that he will demand a full membership for the territories in the UN next week. But the United States has made it clear that such a demand will disrupt peace talks with Israel and that the US would veto it in the security council.

”I am only partly informed as to what he is going to do, and not at all in what order. But yesterday he said when meeting with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that we are going to the UN to get our member status and that there is no return,” Hala Husni Fariz told TT.

If the road to full member status turns out to be closed off due to a US veto, the Palestinians could demand the same status as the Vatican city in the UN.

The Vatican City is recognised as a sovereign state, but not a s a UN member. Currently, the Palestinian territories are viewed as a non-member entity.

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