The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas being congratulated after the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian status at the United Nations.
Foto: Richard Drew/AP

The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas being congratulated after the UN General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinian status at the United Nations.

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DK: No recognition of a Palestinian state

Denmark voted in favour of upgrading the Palestinian Authority’s UN status – but with a caveat.

News in English

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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Edited by Julian Isherwood

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