Palestinians granted 'Partner for Democracy' status in Council of Europe

5 October 2011

Palestinians granted 'Partner for Democracy' status in Council of Europe

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has awarded the Palestinian parliament the status of 'Partner for Democracy'. The assembly took the decision yesterday on the recommendation of Netherlands representative SP Senator Tiny Kox, who had presented a resolution to that effect. Senator Kox was earlier in the year appointed by PACE as special rapporteur for relations with the Palestinian Council and parliament. As a result of the 'Partner for Democracy' status, Palestinian MPs can henceforth participate in the assembly’s meetings and other activities, joining representatives of forty-seven countries.

The resolution was approved by a vote of 110-5, with representatives of the Israeli Knesset offering their support. Israel enjoys observer status in the Council of Europe and is thus represented in the assembly. Delegates from a large number of European countries expressed their appreciation for rapporteur Kox’s preparatory work, which in the last few months has involved negotiations with both Palestinian and Israeli representatives over the draft text of the resolution. The final wording calls on the Palestinian National Council to establish democratic structures in the Palestinian territories, to ensure an independent judiciary, to renounce violence and to recognise the right of Israel to exist.

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