Palestinian flag to be hoisted at UN
Turkey has welcomed the UN resolution allowing the Palestinian flag to be raised at the world body's headquarters in New York as a 'significant step'

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution Thursday that will allow the Palestinian flag to be raised at the world body's headquarters in New York.

The resolution garnered a majority in the 193-member forum, with 119 nations voting yes, 45 abstaining, and eight countries, including Israel, the U.S., Australia and Canada, voting no.

The symbolic move comes as Palestinians step up efforts for international recognition of their statehood, despite fierce opposition from Israel and its allies.

Thursday’s resolution states that flags of UN's non-member observer states shall be raised at the UN headquarters alongside those of the member states. It will go into effect within 20 days.

The state of Palestine and the Vatican are the only non-member observer states at the UN.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the move would not bring Israelis and Palestinians together to peace.

"Raising a Palestinian flag outside UN headquarters is not an alternative to negotiations," she said.

Releasing a statement after the vote, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour hailed the resolution as a "symbolic but significant step in affirming the international consensus in favor of Palestinian independence".

"This step must be matched by concrete actions without delay and consistent with the relevant resolutions and the standing political, legal and moral responsibilities to end the occupation and achieve the rights of the Palestinian people and a peaceful settlement, all long overdue," he said.

Mansour further noted that the adoption of the flag resolution will help to restore hope to Palestinian people and leadership "to fulfill the rights of the Palestinian people, achieve a just and sustainable peace, and secure Palestine’s rightful place among the community of nations".

Turkey also welcomed the resolution as a "significant step".

"This resolution constitutes a significant step in recognition of the Palestinian state by more countries on the world stage and in realizing the longing of Palestinian people to get out of the ongoing occupation at the earliest and live freely in their own sovereign state within 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital," Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement early Friday.

Last week, Israel's outgoing UN envoy Ron Prosor asked UN chief Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Sam Kutesa to block the move, accusing Palestinians of trying to "score easy and meaningless points at the UN".

The state of Palestine has been recognized by 136 nations.

Last Modified: 2015-09-11 09:02:51
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