Britain announces it will abstain on Palestinian UN bid

Foreign Secretary William Hague (Photo: AP)

Foreign Secretary William Hague (Photo: AP)

William Hague has announced that Britain will abstain in tomorrow’s UN vote on an upgrade for the Palestinian Authority to non-member observer status - unless the Palestinians meet three key conditions.

The Foreign Secretary made the announcement after Prime Minister’s Questions in Parliament today. He said that the three conditions of Britain voting for the PA were first, a return to the peace process, second that the PA does not use the upgrade to pursue Israel in the International Criminal Court, and third that the PA does not use this vote to ask for full membership from the Security Council.

Given that the PA’s bid has already been submitted, and omits a clause suggested by the Americans promising not to go to the ICC, an abstension from Britain is the most likely outcome.

William Hague called President Mahmoud Abbas a "courageous man of peace" in his speech, and also spoke of the dangerous impasse in the peace process.

The motion is expected to pass on Thursday with the majority necessary, regardless of how Britain votes.

Last updated: 5:09pm, November 28 2012