30 November 2012
Turkey welcomed a UN vote Thursday giving Palestine non-member statehood in the world body, saying the dramatic gesture would bolster the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"Granting Palestine the status of non-member state at the UN can serve as a booster," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
"It will create the long needed momentum for a negotiated, comprehensive solution, rather than becoming a substitute for it." Turkey has tense relations with Israel over the Palestinian issue and Davutoglu's speech sough to counter arguments by the US and Israeli envoys that giving the Palestinians an upgraded status would set back peace efforts.
Davutoglu said denying the Palestinians a half-way membership in the United Nations was unjustifiable.
"It is on the streets of Gaza where thousands of people live through an inhumane blockade in an open prison. It is in the streets of West Bank where people have to go through check points nearly on every comer," he said.
"The reality of Palestine is a bleeding wound in the conscience of all humanity," he continued, in what was a passionate speech.
"Today, we have an opportunity to give comfort to the Palestinian people who aspire for having a chance to uphold their dignity after years of humiliation.
"The denial of this right to the Palestinians has no justification on any grounds, be it moral, political or legal."