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Fidel Castro voices support for Palestinian UN bid

09-27-2011 10:09 BJT

HAVANA, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro expressed his support for Palestine's bid to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

In his column called "Reflections," published in the official daily Granma, Castro said the decision to accept the bid and recognize the State of Palestine as a sovereign nation was long overdue.

Quoting his close friend and ally Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, Castro said such a recognition would represent "a historic act of justice."

Moreover, Castro said the Palestinian people have the right "to become a free, sovereign and independent country."

It was the first article in the column Castro published since July 3.

Castro, who ruled Cuba for 49 years until formally handing over power to his younger brother Raul in 2008, decided to break off diplomatic relations with Israel in 1973 as an act of solidarity with the Palestinians.

The UN Security Council will have an open meeting on the Palestinian statehood bid on Wednesday, Lebanese UN Ambassador Nawaf Salam, who holds the rotating Council presidency for September, announced on Monday.

"The Council will meet on Wednesday at 9:30 (1530 GMT) to consider referring the matter to the Committee on Admissions," according to its provisional rules of procedure, said Salam.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas submitted the Palestinian application letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last Friday.

At its Wednesday meeting, the UN Security Council is expected to send the Palestinian application to the technical or the expert committee, which would give its recommendation to the Council after it studies the application.

The United States, a permanent Council member and a close ally of Israel, vows to veto any Security Council move to recognize Palestine as a UN member state on the ground that the Palestinian State should be established through direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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