The Elders Welcome UN Recognition of Palestine

LONDON, December 1, 2012 (WAFA) – The Elders congratulated the Palestinian people “on reaching a significant milestone in their long quest for statehood” by granting Palestine the status of a non-member observer state by a clear majority, said a press release.

It said that the Elders believe the UN vote “will help safeguard the two-state solution and serve to enhance prospects for future negotiations and peace in the region.”

Chair of the Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said: “Sixty-five years after the UN recommended the establishment of a Jewish state and an Arab state side by side on former Mandatory Palestine, the world has finally taken an important step on the Palestinian part of its promise.”

The Elders urged all parties to refrain from taking punitive measures against the Palestinians for pursuing their legitimate UN bid and expressed hope that both the Palestinians and Israelis will put aside cynicism and see UN vote as a step forward for their mutual goals of peace, security and national sovereignty.

Former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, congratulated President Mahmoud Abbas on the vote saying, “Once the dust has settled, this will be seen as an historic vote in favor of peace and security for both Palestinians and Israelis. It was also a vote for human rights and the rule of law.”

Former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland said “the recognition of Palestine as a state is a reaffirmation that the two-state solution remains the only long-term path to peace between Palestinians and Israelis, at a time when the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements is taking us ever closer to a one-state outcome.”

Former US President Jimmy Carter said, “The UN vote can be a catalyst for genuine negotiations between Israel and Palestine on a more equal footing.”

He said that the international community must turn the UN vote into a lasting peace in the Middle East, which should encourage Fatah and Hamas to reconcile their differences and work together for Palestinian unity.

Source: WAFA News