Saturday, July 9, 2011

Romania backtracking over Palestinian statehood vote


BUCHAREST — Romania said Friday it had yet to decide on its vote on a unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood in September, two days after telling Israeli's Benjamin Netanyahu it opposed any unilateral solution.

"We are analyzing the forms and implications of the planned Palestinian bid," the foreign ministry said.

"As this bid has not been submitted yet, all speculations about Romania's vote are premature."

Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc stressed on Wednesday that Romania was against a unilateral solution and pleaded for the resumption of talks between the two parties.

"A negotiated solution alone can lead to lasting peace in the Middle East," Boc said during a joint news conference with Netanyahu.

His remarks were interpreted by the media as clear support for Israel, described by Boc as a "key partner".

On Thursday, as Netanyahu went to Sofia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boïko Borissov remained noncommittal on the issue.

"You will see when the vote comes," Borisov said, when asked how Bulgaria would vote on the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN's General Assembly.

"There's still time," he added, noting the Palestinians had not yet submitted the statehood bid.

Following the collapse of direct peace talks with Israel in September last year, the Palestinians have adopted a diplomatic strategy of looking to secure UN recognition when the General Assembly meets in New York in September for a state along the frontiers which existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

Israel is adamantly opposed to such a move.

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