Interpol approves State of Palestine's membership bid

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 27.09.2017 11:44
Updated 27.09.2017 13:46
Chinese delegates attend the 86th INTERPOL General Assembly at Beijing National Convention Center in Beijing, China September 27, 2017 (Reuters Photo)
Chinese delegates attend the 86th INTERPOL General Assembly at Beijing National Convention Center in Beijing, China September 27, 2017 (Reuters Photo)

Palestine joined Interpol as a member state on Wednesday, a move opposed by Israel, in a vote at the international police organization's general assembly in Beijing, Interpol said on Twitter.

"The State of Palestine and the Solomon Islands are now INTERPOL member countries," the tweet read.

Israel lobbies hard against Palestinian candidacies to international organisations and claimed victory last year when the Palestinian bid to join Interpol was suspended.

The membership bid is part of Palestinian efforts to advance their goal of statehood.

"New member countries State of Palestine and Solomon Islands bring INTERPOL's membership to 192," Interpol said on its Twitter account.

It did not give the result but candidacies require the approval of a two-thirds majority of the countries present at the general assembly, excluding abstentions.

Palestine gained observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and since then has joined more than 50 international organisations and agreements, according to the Palestinian foreign ministry.

Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO.

Interpol, which is based in Lyon, France, eases the exchange of information between police forces. It also issues "red notices" -- non-binding notifications of arrest warrants.

Senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub had told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Sunday that "we're looking to be in all of the international institutions, including Interpol, as an organized state."

"We are looking for the Palestinian state to be a positive contributor toward security and stability in the region and in the international community," he said.

Regarding Israel's opposition, he said "they don't want any progress toward a Palestinian state."

"Israel does not want us to be in FIFA. How would they want us to be in Interpol?" he said.

Israel's foreign ministry declined to comment on the bid.

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