14 Dec 2011

Former Vanuatu Foreign Minister questions government's UN stand against Palestinians

9:56 pm on 14 December 2011

A former Vanuatu foreign minister is asking why the country appears to have withdrawn support for Palestine at the United Nations.

Joe Natuman says Vanuatu is one of 15 countries that opposed Palestine's application to join the United Nations Economic Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, at a recent conference in Paris.

Mr Natuman says in the past Vanuatu has always been supportive of Palestine.

He says the prime minister, Sato Kilman, told him in Parliament he was unaware of the position taken by Vanuatu and the government will review this decision.

Mr Natuman says the Vanuatu government is also committing to back Palestine's push for full membership at the UN.

"Prime Minister indicated that Vanuatu will always maintain its position to support the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland but at the same time with Israel existing as a state on its own, with secure borders."

Vanuatu MP Joe Natuman.