PM fails to win Bulgarian commitment to oppose PA state bid

Netanyahu gets no concrete guarantees that Sofia or Bucharest will vote against UN recognition of Palestinian state in September, but says diplomatic efforts are "moving forward, step by step."

July 7, 2011 15:45
1 minute read.
Netanyahu and Bulgarian PM Borisov in Sophia

Netanyahu Boyko 311. (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO)


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was not able to convince his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov to make a commitment to vote against the Palestinian bid for UN recognition of a state during his visit to Sofia on Thursday.

Israel Radio quoted Borisov as saying that Bulgaria is currently conferring with European Union nations on forming a united position on the Palestinian statehood plan.

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Borisov added that the Palestinians had not yet officially presented an initiative and when they do, Sofia will inform Israel of its position.

Following meetings between Netanyahu and Romania's prime minister and president on Wednesday, senior government officials said that Bucharest would not cast a vote for the Palestinians. There was no guarantee, however, that Romania would vote against the move, and may abstain, along with a number of other European countries.

Netanyahu did not express disappointment at the failure to obtain guarantees against the statehood bid during the Eastern European trip. He said that Israel was not losing ground against the Palestinians in the diplomatic struggle for world support but was "moving forward, step by step," Israel Radio reported.

Israel has set as its goal getting nearly 60 democratic countries – what has been referred to in Jerusalem as the “moral minority” – to not support the move, thereby depriving the Palestinians of a moral victory, and allowing the resolution to be passed on the strength of the Palestinians built-in majority in the General Assembly.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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