INTERPOL has announced that its General Assembly voted to admit “the State of Palestine” as a new member country of the international police organization, despite adamant opposition by Israel.
A statement on Interpol’s website said the vote brought the total number of members states of the body to 192, after the Solomon Islands was also admitted.
Interpol’s General Assembly, currently meeting in Beijing for its 86th annual session, approved each application by more than a two thirds majority vote, the statement said. Some 75 countries voted in favor, with 24 voting against and 34 abstaining, according to reports.
During the session, Interpol said it also adopted a resolution regarding the criteria under which countries can apply for membership of the organization in the future, which includes a guideline that “a requesting country will also need to confirm that it meets the conditions for statehood.”
Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, Riyad alMalki, praised on Wednesday the INTERPOL for admitting the State of Palestine as a member of the organization. He said the overwhelming vote in support of Palestine’s membership is “a vote of confidence in Palestine’s law enforcement capabilities and commitment to the core values of the organization. Palestine’s admission to INTERPOL is a victory for law enforcement and global cooperation.”
According to al-Malki, the victory was made possible “because of the principled position of the majority of INTERPOL members. Palestine’s membership is the outcome of members defending this organization’s raison d’etre and advancing its core values, and a clear rejection of attempts at cynical manipulation and political bullying.”
“Today, facts and merits overcame all other consider ations. That is a cause of our collective celebration. On behalf of the Palestinian people, I extend our thanks and sincere gratitude to all members who made this happen,” he added.
On this occasion, the Foreign Minister reiterated the commitment of the State of Palestine to upholding its obligations and contributing to fighting crime and furthering the rule of law. He said, “Palestine will work with all members to advance the standing and role of INTERPOL.
We will be a constructive and cooperative partner in this global endeavor that affects the lives and future of all our citizens.” “The State of Palestine views this membership and the responsibilities it entails as an integral part of its responsibility towards the Palestinian people and its moral obligation towards citizens of the world,” al-Malki remarked.
“Palestine is ready and able to shoulder these obligations and responsibilities as an active partner in the international community that effectively and demonstrably contributes to the advancement of our shared core values as nations” PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi also released a statement welcoming Interpol’s decision and expressed gratitude to the 75 countries that “upheld their principles and voted in favor of Palestine becoming a member of Interpol.”
“Such an acceptance sends a clear message to the Israeli government that we are not population centers at its mercy; we believe in a system that is based on the global rule of law and due process, and one which enforces accountability and cooperation at the international level.
We will persist in our efforts to seek membership in other multinational agencies and organizations; this is consistent with the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and statehood,” she said.