Speaking at a press conference after a meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Maliki expressed his gratitude to Davutoğlu for the support Turkey has provided on Palestine's UN status.
“Mr. Davutoğlu did not leave us alone on this important and historic day. He will be with us both today and tomorrow,'' Maliki said on Wednesday.
Foreign Minister Davutoğlu is on an official visit in New York to show Turkey's support for the Palestinian resolution at the UN General Assembly that aims to change the Palestinian National Authority's UN observer status from “entity” to “non-member state.”
Maliki also said that following the recognition of Palestine as a non-member, UN observer state, Ramallah will take steps to remove economic sanctions imposed by Israel and the Madrid Quartet mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the early 2000s.
Before the UN General Assembly meeting in New York on Thursday, Davutoğlu met with Abbas.
“Hopefully Palestine be recognized as a state of non-member status at the UN General Assembly. We are here in New York to show our support in this issue,” Davutoğlu said at the press conference on Wednesday.
He added: “Turkey will always support Palestinians' rights [on any platform]. We hope that within record time the Palestinian flag will be waving at the UN with full membership and state status. Turkey will continue to support Palestine's UN status until the Palestinian flag waves there.”
Davutoğlu also said that Thursday, when Palestine is expected to be recognized as a state, will be a historic day, and the first celebration of the victory will be held at the New York Turkish Center.
According to information obtained from the diplomatic sources, no Arab countries will participate in Thursday's vote.
Palestinian President Abbas has been leading the campaign to gain support for the resolution despite threats by the United States and Israel that they will punish the Palestinian National Authority by withholding much-needed funds for the West Bank government. A dozen European governments offered him their support after an eight-day conflict this month between Israel and Islamists in the Gaza Strip who are pledged to destroy Israel and oppose Abbas' efforts toward a negotiated peace.
The US opposes the recognition of Palestine as a state. On Tuesday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the Palestinian National Authority's decision to declare unilateral statehood a “mistake”, expressing strong disagreement with Washington's allies on the issue. The US also harshly criticized France after it announced it would vote in favor of the recognition of the Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly this week.
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