Palestine now PACE ‘partner’

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, or PACE, granted “partner for democracy” status to Palestine in a decision Tuesday.

Following the decision, Salim al-Za’noon, speaker of the Palestinian National Council, said it was a historic step bringing Palestine closer to its goal of being recognized as a state. PACE President Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said he was pleased with the decision and hoped that the move would help Palestine become a state in the future. The report, adopted in the PACE plenary session, outlined the need for Palestinians to deepen reforms aimed at consolidating democratic institutions, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was expected to arrive in Strasbourg soon as Çavuşoğlu’s formal guest.

The U.N.’s cultural agency, UNESCO, meanwhile, has begun to review a draft resolution from the Palestinian delegation for full membership in the body, a UNESCO source said Wednesday. France, however, declares it will oppose moves by the Palestinian Authority to seek recognition as a full state member of UNESCO.

( / 05.10.2011)

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