Ahead of Thursday’s UN vote to consider giving non-member status to the Palestinian Authority, the Guardian is reporting that British Deputy Prime Minister Nicholas Clegg, a Liberal Democrat, is expected to urge his Conservative coalition partners to back the Palestinian Authority bid.
The UK plans to abstain. Clegg is reportedly to lobby Prime Minister David Cameron and foreign secretary, William Hague, using the argument that recent tensions between Israel and the more extreme Hamas makes it necessary to support the more moderate Abbas.
“It’s a bit shortsighted on the part of the Deputy Prime Minister because as he well knows any such move by the UK will make peace talks restarting much less likely. If he wants to see peace talks start sooner then it’s sort of counterproductive to what he wants to achieve,” Alan Mendoza, Executive Director at the Henry Jackson Society told The Algemeiner.
A source told the Guardian: “Nick feels because they are going to be definitely doing it [applying], and clearly going to win the vote, it’s important for us to vote for them to have observer status and not abstain.”