Foreign Minister Zbogar Discusses Recognition of Palestine in New York

14. 6. 2011

New York - Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar, who is lobbying in New York for Slovenia's bid for the non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council, told the press on Tuesday that it is probably time for serious thought and first steps in international recognition of Palestine.


Zbogar said that he discussed the issue on the sidelines of his two-day visit to New York with Egypt Ambassador to UN Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz and Palestine's Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansur.


"There are three intertwined issues when it comes to Palestine. The first is relaunching negotiations with Israel, then its recognition as an independent country and then the membership of Palestine in the UN," the minister said, adding that the UN is not unified in this respect.


"Many believe that as many countries as possible should recognise Palestine to make it more equal to Israel when it comes to international negotiations," Zbogar said, pointing to the promise of the international community that Palestine would become a UN member.


Slovenia is not waiting for a joint position of the EU, because there will not be one, he said, adding that "there are some countries in the EU that share our position."


"I cannot speak on the behalf of Slovenia, but I personally think that it is probably time for us to start moving in this direction. That it is probably time to start seriously thinking about and start making first steps towards recognising Palestine. This is my position."


According to Zbogar, the issue of recognition of Palestine as a country has to be separated from its membership in the UN. He said that the latter is the more problematic issue of the two for the US.


The minister said that EU foreign ministers will discuss this on Monday, adding that he had told EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that the bloc should come to a joint position regarding a solution to the Israel-Palestine dispute.


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