The Palestinian flag is raised at UNESCO in Paris 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on Saturday
rejected a Palestinian application to join the organization as an
observer, which one official in Jerusalem said was the result of Israeli
diplomatic efforts, Army Radio reported Sunday.
countries voted against the Palestinian request and 21 voted in favor of
accepting the application, according to the report.
Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon told Army Radio Sunday that Israeli
diplomatic efforts played a role in thwarting the Palestinian
application. The Foreign Ministry noted that the United States, Germany
and Italy opposed the application.
Turkey also voted against the
application, something the Foreign Ministry said could be a sign of
improved relations with Ankara, according to the report.
Later Sunday, European Commission
(EC) President Jose Manuel Barroso was scheduled to meet senior
Palestinian officials in Ramallah, ahead of a two-day visit to
Jerusalem, official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
Barroso was expected to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
EC president and Fayyad were expected to sign a 20 million euro agreement aimed at
supporting PA efforts to promote democracy and the rule of law,
according to WAFA.
The European Union is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority.