BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — PLO official Nabil Shaath said that Sweden will stand by Palestinians at the UN, after meetings with officials in the country on Thursday.
Shaath said the undersecretary to the Swedish foreign minister told him that Sweden’s vote against Palestinian membership of UNESCO in October would not be repeated in a UN General Assembly vote.
Sweden’s position on Palestinian UNESCO membership came as a shock to the Palestinian people as the nation is a historical ally of the Palestinians, Shaath said in a statement.
UNESCO admitted Palestine as a full member on Oct. 31 after 107 member states voted in favor, 14 states voted against, and 52 abstained.
The PLO — currently listed as an observer “entity” with no voting rights — applied for full membership of the UN on Sept. 23. An admissions committee said on Nov. 11 it had failed to reach an agreement on the bid.
It had been previously suggested that Palestine could instead seek upgraded observer status via the General Assembly to make it a non-member observer state, like the Vatican, although the move has been rejected by Palestinian leaders.
Shaath, a member of Fatah’s central committee, also gave a lecture in Stockholm University during his trip, the release said.
(www.maannews.net / 24.11.2011)