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Wed Aug 20 22:26:45 SAST 2014

Zuma: SA will support Palestine's UN bid

Times LIVE, Sapa, and Reuters | 20 September, 2011 00:42
President Jacob Zuma, his Finnish counterpart, Tarja Halonen, and former British prime minister Gordon Brown share a joke at the start of a meeting on global sustainability at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday.
Image by: ELMOND JIYANE/GCIS

President Jacob Zuma said last night that South Africa would support Palestine's quest for statehood at the UN this week.

"We are dealing with a people who don't have rights, and as a follow-up to UN human rights kind of condition and principle, I think they have to be given an opportunity because they have been blocked all the time.

"I think in their position I would do the same so that you move to a particular stage, and we will support that," the SABC quoted the president as saying.

Zuma, who is scheduled to address the UN general assembly tomorrow, also said South Africa was "open" to discussing Libya's future, but insisted on African Union participation.

"We do not want . the Libyan process to proceed without the AU participating. This is an AU member state," Zuma said.

He said South Africa was prepared to discuss the matter "properly in the UN" in the hope of finding a "clear resolution".

South Africa has repeatedly criticised Nato's military intervention in Libya and the way in which the UN resolution 1973 on a no-fly zone was implemented by allowing air strikes.

South Africa has refused to recognise the National Transitional Council, the war-torn country's current interim government.

Earlier yesterday, President Mahmoud Abbas said he was sticking to his plan to seek full UN membership for his Palestinian state, though "all hell had broken out" over the move, which has been opposed by both the US and Israel.

Abbas, speaking en route to the UN general assembly, said he had been told by the US and European governments that "matters will be bad" after a move that reflects his frustration with a moribund peace process.

"To what extent, we will know later on," said Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, which depends on international financial aid for its survival in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

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Wed Aug 20 22:26:45 SAST 2014 ::