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Albania one of 41 abstentions at United Nations
By HERB KEINON
02/12/2012
Netanyahu thanks Czech prime minister for support, 12 of 27 European Union states abstained.
 
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Saturday night that he would stop in Prague on the way to an annual government-to-government meeting in Germany on Thursday to personally thank the Czech Republic for voting with Israel at the UN on Thursday.

Netanyahu spoke over the weekend with Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas and thanked him for his country’s “courageous UN vote against the Palestinian Authority’s request.”

“The history of Israel and the Czech Republic has taught us that one must cling to the truth even if the majority is not with you,” Netanyahu said. “Your vote must serve as an example for all those who support peace, which can be achieved only via direct negotiations without preconditions.”

While Prague will be the only state Netanyahu will visit to thank for its position, there was obvious gratitude in Jerusalem to the seven other countries who joined Israel and the Czech republic to vote against the PA resolution: Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama and the United States.

Although officials in Jerusalem expressed disappointment that Germany – which often votes for Israel in international forums – abstained, there was satisfaction that certain other countries did abstain, first and foremost Albania, which is a Muslim country with whom Israel has developed close ties over the last couple of years.

While Israel was disappointed at how the EU voted, especially Italy which voted for the Palestinians, 12 EU countries did abstain. With the exception of Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all the other abstentions came from the former Iron Curtain countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Another nine non-EU European states also abstained: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Monaco, Montenegro, Moldova, San Marino and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In Africa, Israel took some comfort from that fact that five countries abstained: Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Rwanda and Togo, whose president was in Israel last week.
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