FM Malki: As chair of Group of 77, US will have no choice but to negotiate with Palestine

RAMALLAH, Thursday, With Palestine assuming presidency of the Group of 77 and China in the United Nations, the United States will have no choice but to negotiate with Palestine in its capacity as chair of this organizations, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said on Wednesday.

Speaking on Palestine TV, Malki said that Palestine is going to negotiate development issues with industrial and advanced countries on behalf of the Group of 77, including with the US.

The US has to recognize that Palestine is the chair of this organization and if it decides it does not want to sit with us, then it is one losing, he said, explaining that the US is going to sit and negotiate with the State of Palestine but pretend that it is not sitting with Palestine, which it does not recognize, but rather with the chair of the Group of 77. This will not have an impact on our role.

He stressed that the member states that voted for Palestine to chair this group is interested in achieving its interests and therefore we are confident that they will support the Palestinians when it time comes for negotiations and the US will find out that it cannot ignore Palestine.

Malki said that Palestine will do its best to make its role as chair of the Group of 77 a success despite of the difficult conditions.

He said the special privileges granted to Palestine to chair this group is valid for the duration of this mandate.

We will abide by this temporary mandate, which is for this year, he said, adding we are not going to politicize our presidency of the Group of 77 and China and when we succeed in this mission and gain experience, as well as support of member states, we are going to approach the UN General Assembly once again to earn these privileges after the end of our mandate.

Palestine is a non-member observer state in the UN since 2012, which means it cannot vote on any issue but join all UN organizations, which it has already done over the years.

Malki said in New York after assuming chairmanship of the Group of 77 that Palestine is going to re-submit its application for full membership in the UN after it failed to gain that in the 2011 attempt following a US veto since only the UN Security Council can grant a new state full membership.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed this week the official assumption by the State of Palestine of the presidency of the Group of 77 and China, stressing that this historic achievement would consolidate the political and legal status of Palestine in the international arena, and its well-deserved right to acquire full UN membership.

Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, the OIC Secretary General, congratulated President Mahmoud Abbas for assuming the presidency of the current session of the Group, stressing his confidence in the ability of Palestine to carry out its duties and responsibilities effectively, responsibly and professionally, according to an OIC press release.

He also reiterated the OIC’s support for the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to enable Palestine to exercise its right to accede to international organizations and conventions, protect the Palestinian people, assert and defend their legitimate national rights, and embody the independence of the sovereign State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Ash-Sharif (Holy Jerusalem) as its capital.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency