Palestine UN bid has global public support: poll

19th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Palestine's bid for UN membership has strong support among people worldwide but many remain unsure whether their governments should back an upcoming resolution, a BBC poll showed Monday.

Just under half of the 20,446 people interviewed across 19 countries between July 3 and August 29 said their government should vote for the Palestinian proposal, while 21 percent hoped their leaders would block the move. Thirty percent were undecided.

A clear majority of the public in nine countries voiced support for the resolution, with the strongest backing coming from the Muslim world, the BBC World Service-commissioned survey found.

Ninety percent of Egyptians quizzed called on their government to vote in favour while 60 percent of Turks, 52 percent of Pakistanis and 51 percent of Indonesians supported the controversial Palestinian bid.

President Mahmud Abbas promised Palestinians he will seek UN membership from the Security Council next Friday, despite stiff opposition from Israel and the United States, who say only direct negotiations can resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Washington, Israel's main ally, has already announced it will use its veto to block the Palestinian bid in the Security Council.

US citizens expressed the strongest opposition, with 36 percent against, while 25 percent of Indians interviewed by the GlobeScan polling group were opposed to the move.

Public opinion across the European Union was similar, with just over half of those polled in France, Germany and Britain unequivocally backing the bid.

"If countries' citizens had a vote at the UN, the poll suggests that Palestine would receive official UN recognition," GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller said.

"However, with many people undecided or opposed, domestic repercussions are unlikely if their governments choose to vote against recognition."

© 2011 AFP

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