- Published on Friday, 14 September 2012 09:14
MPs back call for UN to recognise Palestine64 sign motion urging British Foreign Secretary William Hague to vote to recognise Palestine at UN General Assembly on September 27th Leading Conservatives join Jack Straw and Peter Hain in calls on William Hague to vote 'yes' Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain are heading a cross-party campaign to persuade Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to back the motion for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations General Assembly due on September 27th.
They have been joined by prominent Conservatives including former Justice minister Crispin Blunt and former Defence minister Nicholas Soames as well as MPs from all parties in the Commons. A parliamentary motion was tabled on Tuesday by the Labour MP for Birmingham Northfields Richard Burden and already has 64 signatures.
More are expected to sign before Parliament goes back into recess on Tuesday. William Hague has yet to announce how the UK will vote at the United Nations and attempts to force him to make a statement or answer an urgent notice question have so far been unsuccessful. Last year the Foreign Secretary announced he would abstain if the issue came up at the UN Security Council but added that he "wouldn't necessarily vote the same way" in a vote at the General Assembly. Over 130 of the 193 countries in the UN have already recognised Palestine as a state on a bilateral basis and have diplomatic relations at ambassador level.
This makes it almost certain that the motion will pass with a substantial majority despite the pressure that the US and Israel will put on their allies to vote 'no'. Palestinians are confident that UN recognition will make a very significant difference, allowing them to join international organisations and enabling them to negotiate with the Israelis as an equal at least in terms of international law. Labour leader Ed Miliband has already declared that he will support statehood for the Palestinians at the UN and there is widespread support among Liberal Democrat MPs, many of whom have visited the West Bank and Gaza. Signatories to the parliamentary motion so far include 41 Labour MPs, nine Liberal Democrats, six Conservatives, three from the Northern Ireland SDLP and three Welsh and two Scottish nationalists.
The up-to-date list is available at http://www.parliament.uk/edm/ The picture shows: front row left to right Peter Hain, Ian Lavery, Simon Danczuk, Richard Burden, Sir Gerald Kaufman, Jack Straw, Mark Durkan (SDLP), Margaret Ritchie (SDLP); middle row: Andy Slaughter, John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn, Linda Riordain, Caroline Lucas (Green), David Ward (LibDem), Baroness Jenny Tonge (LibDem Ind); back row: Sandra Osborne, Ann Clwyd, Lisa Nandy, Paul Flynn, Jim Fitzpatrick, Alex Cunningham.
For more information: http://martinlinton.org/category/palestine-briefing/