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Solomons Official Under Scrutiny For Supporting Palestine
Ambassador allegedly did not consult government before vote

By Eddie Osifelo

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 5, 2012) – The Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seeking answers from the country’s ambassador in New York, Collin Beck, why he voted in support of Palestine as an observer United Nations member state.

Minister Clay Forau told the Solomon Star yesterday the country’s position before the voting took place last week was to support Israel.

"Mr. Beck did not consult us before voting in support for Palestine," Mr. Forau said. "We have asked him to give us his explanation before informing the Israeli government. If his explanation is not convincing there’s a process in place to discipline our ambassador."

The Solomon Star could not reach Mr. Beck for comments.

But explaining his decision in the social Facebook page Forum Solomon Islands International, Mr. Beck said the country recognizes Palestine’s right for self-determination as an independent state.

"We also recognize Israel’s right to live in peace with all its neighbors. I urge we look at the issue calmly and see humanity from a universal perspective.

"No one should see a set of population more superior than others. Palestine is Israel's neighbor, we must recognize that reality.

"We as a country value our relationship with the UN. One of the primary roles of the UN is the maintenance of international peace and security," Mr. Beck wrote.

He did not say whether he had consulted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Honiara before casting the country’s vote.

Israel is reportedly seeking explanation from the government over the issue.

Israel’s consul here Leliana Firisua was earlier quoted in the media as saying "it is truly a sad day regarding the friendship Solomon Islands share with Israel."

Mr. Firisua said he was informed of the shocking news from their office in New York; however it was still unclear why Solomon Islands support Palestine and not Israel.

Solomon Islands joined hands with 137 to 9, with 41 abstentions of countries around the world to vote for UN’s recognition for Palestine at the UN as an "entity" to a "non-member observer state".

In a historic session at the United Nations in New York last Thursday, exactly 65 years after passing the Partition Plan for Palestine, the General Assembly voted by a huge majority to recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders as a non-member state with observer status in the organization.

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