Interpol approves Palestinian membership; new blow to Israel

China's President Xi Jinping speaks during the 86th Interpol General Assembly at the Beijing National Convention Center in Beijing
Palestine Joins Interpol, Despite Israeli Opposition
Author

28 September, 2017

The International Police Organization on Wednesday approved the "State of Palestine" as a new member state - over the objections of the United States and Israel. Since 2012, when its status in the United Nations was upgraded to "non-member state", Palestine has joined dozens of global organizations.

"We welcome Interpol's decision to admit the State of Palestine as a full member in its organization, and extend our gratitude and appreciation to the seventy-five countries that upheld their principles and voted in favor of Palestine becoming a member of Interpol", Ashrawi said in a press statement.

The U.S. has also argued that "Palestine" should not join Interpol because it is not a state. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters that the Palestinian membership could harm peace efforts. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it "another failure" for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli government did not immediately comment on the vote.

Israel's prime minister is criticizing the Palestinian acceptance to Interpol, saying it harms chances for peace.

"This victory was realized because the majority of the Interpol members defended the raisons d'etre of the organization and basic principles", said Riad Malki, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates.

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Interpol approved the Palestinian application along with a bid by the Solomon Islands during its annual general assembly in Beijing. More than 130 countries recognize Palestine as a state.

At the start of the meeting, Ashrawi welcomed Ambassador Riley to Palestine and expressed her appreciation to New Zealand for being one of four countries to sponsor UNSC Resolution 2334 last December and for its continued support of Palestinian self-determination and freedom.

Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, eases the exchange of information between police forces and issues "red notices" - non-binding notifications of arrest warrants - at the request of a member state or an global tribunal.

In this photo provided by Interpol, delegates are seated for the 86th session of the General Assembly, in Beijing, China, Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017.

The General Assembly discussed the guidelines for membership prior to the vote.


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