Estonia to Abstain on Palestine Vote (13)

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet Photo: Dyen za Dnyom/Scanpix
11/28/2012 9:10 PM
Category: Politics

With Europe split on whether to grant Palestine enhanced status in the UN in a key vote Thursday, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said his country would abstain, citing Israel's criticism that supporting the bid would slow the peace process.

"Our position right now is that Estonia will abstain, like a large part of the European Union's member states," Paet told

"The reason is that if we look at the principal goal - to achieve peaceful stability in the Middle East - this is a two-state solution. The precondition for a Palestinian state that could co-exist normally with Israel is that Israel and Palestine are able to ultimately agree on this."

Paet said that "Israel has clearly said" that the vote will not result in better solutions but could in fact postpone them.

Of regional countries whose position is known so far, Norway and Denmark plan to support the non-member-state status for Palestine. Finland has also signaled it would support it. Lithuania has signaled it would abstain.

As to the major European powers, Britain is likely to abstain, while France supports and Germany opposes non-member status for Palestine.  

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