By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Saturday December 1, 2012
Canada opposes Palestinian statehood bid at UN
Canada part of minority opposing Palestine’s observer state status
A confidential report says Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada will vote against the bid of the Palestinian Authority to raise its status at the United Nations.
While Harper said he favours a two-state solution in the Middle East, his government wants to see Israel and the Palestine Authority return to the bargaining table before supporting Palestine’s statehood.
Speaking in the House of Commons Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said he’s disappointed with the actions of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who plans to ask the UN General Assembly on Thursday to recognize Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
“It’s obvious that this will affect our relationship,” said Baird, who plans to travel to New York where he’ll speak on the issue at the UN. “This government makes no apologies for standing with the Jewish State. This government makes no apologies from standing with Israel at the UN.”
Canada will vote with the United States on Thursday against accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state. However, it’s expected that some two-thirds of the General Assembly’s 193 members will support the bid.
Currently the Palestinians hold observer status at the UN.
France, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland have pledged support while Germany said it would not support the initiative and Britain would only vote in favour if the Palestinians softened some of their language. (Source: CTV News)