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November 30, 2012 1:47 pm

Australia and Canada Say Palestine UN Vote Undermines Negotiation

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John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Though the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to upgrade the status of Palestine in the international body to a “non-member observer state” Thursday, some world leaders voiced opposition.

The US most notably objected to the vote, but Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, who had been one of three foreign ministers allowed to speak in opposition to the action at the assembly, has also said that the UN is abandoning “policy and principle” with the vote by ignoring its own rule that Middle East peace should be achieved through negotiation.

“This unilateral step will harden positions and raise unrealistic expectations while doing nothing to improve the lives of the Palestinian people,” Baird said in his speech before the vote according to the Globe and Mail. Canada voted against the resolution.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, whose country abstained from the vote, said that while his country supports a Palestinian state, “We wanted to send a reminder to the Palestinian Authority that the real gain is negotiations with Israel towards the creation of the Palestinian state because of the security guarantees that Israel could endure,” according to the Australian.

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