Foreign minister denies frictions within NAM over Palestine

Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has denied that there were frictions among Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) members over the recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

"If there are NAM members which have not yet recognized Palestine, or have yet to establish diplomatic relations with the nation, it does not mean that there are frictions within NAM. They don`t recognize Palestine because they have not yet established diplomatic relations," Marty said here on Friday.

NAM member countries which had not yet officially recognized Palestine numbered 30. Therefore, Marty said, at the NAM ministerial meeting, these countries were advised to recognize Palestine.

He said that calls on them to recognize Palestine were not intended as pressure. "We always remind each other. We do everything in the spirit of friendship. There is no intention to pressure any party within the movement," he said.

In connection with the plan of action with regard to supporting Palestine, the foreign minister said that it was intended to encourage NAM members who had not yet recognized Palestine to give their support.

It was also intended to support the approach to the UN Security Council, UN General Assembly and other relevant parties.

The plan of action which was contained in the NAM declaration was to be carried out until September 2011 when Palestine would apply for UN membership at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Recognition by NAM members was very important to help Palestine obtain UN membership. Palestine itself had stated it had the support of 112 countries.

This meant that Palestine still needed the support of 16 to 17 other countries to secure the approval of 128 countries or a majority of countries in the UN General Assembly to be accepted as a UN member.