Although Denmark was among the 138 countries that voted in favour of a
Palestinian UN upgrade, it has made it clear that its vote does not mean it
recognises a Palestinian state.
“The resolution adopted today… is a natural continuation of our firm support
for a two-state solution and Palestinian state building. Our vote, however,
does not entail a formal bilateral recognition of a sovereign Palestinian
state. This is a separate question, which we will continue to consider
within the framework set out by international law,” Denmark’s UN Ambassador
Carsten Staur said in an Explanation of Vote to the UN General Assembly.
The UN resolution elevating the Palestinian Authority to Non-member State
Observer status, was passed by 138 votes to 9, with 41 abstentions. Denmark
and 13 other EU members voted in favour of the status upgrade, which by
using the word ‘state’ could be read to imply the recognition of Palestine
as an independent state.
132 world countries have officially recognised Palestine as an independent
state. The only other entity to currently hold the status of non-member
state observer at the United Nations is the Holy See.
Denmark’s diplomatic knife-edge Explanation of Vote made it clear that ever
since Israel’s founding 65 years ago, it has worked for a two-state solution
in the former British mandate region of Palestine.
Staur went on to say that Denmark has “consistently stood by Israel and its
inherent right to self-defense in accordance with international law”.
He added that Palestinians have a particular responsibility to unite and
unconditionally move peace negotiations forward.
“We also appeal to the parties to refrain from any steps which could
negatively affect the situation and the efforts towards a negotiated
solution,” Staur said in what also appeared to be reference to fears that
the Palestine Authority’s new status could prompt it to drag Israel into the
International Criminal Court.
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