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October 14, 2014 2:12 pm

Envoys Concerned Over U.K. Parliament’s Palestinian State Recognition

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The British Parliament. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – The British ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, expressed concern over Monday’s symbolic vote in the British Parliament to recognize a Palestinian state. The House of Commons ruled in favor of the recognition in a 274-12 non-binding vote, but British Prime Minister David Cameron abstained from the vote.

“I think it is right to be concerned about what it signifies in terms of the direction of public opinion,” Gould told Israel’s Army Radio.

Prior to the British vote, the new prime minister of Sweden indicated that the country would similarly recognize “Palestine” as a state, but the Swedish government partially backtracked that stance after the criticism it garnered.

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The former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, told Yedioth Ahronoth that “support expressed by Britain for the establishment of the Palestinian state is much more important than the Swedish one, and is being underestimated.”

“Britain is a member of the U.N. Security Council. The Palestinians are going to the UN in November and they want at least nine votes in the Security Council (to force Israel to commit to a timeline for withdrawing from the West Bank.) There is a chance America will abstain, but a lot of it is up to us,” Oren said.

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