Ukraine Supports Palestinian Right for Self-Determination
Kyiv, December 29, 2011. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Kostyantyn Gryshchenko said that Ukrainian government supports the right of the Palestinian people for self-determination. He said Ukraine backed the future creation of the independent Palestinian state that could peacefully coexist with Israel.
The statement by Kostyantyn Gryshchenko was made in an exclusive interview with Interfax Ukraine. The official noted that the key to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the involvement of mediators in the negotiations process. He reckoned that a long-term, fair and ultimate solution for the existing problem could be achieved solely through negotiations based on the respective resolutions by the UN Security Council and previous agreements between the conflicting parties.
Meanwhile, Ukraine intended to continue its close cooperation with Israel, mentioned Kostyantyn Gryshchenko. He reminded that the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych completed his official visit to Israel in December of 2011. During his visit the Ukrainian president informed that Israel and Ukraine might further their bilateral cooperation by creating a free trade zone.
Currently, Israel and Ukraine enjoy mutual visa free regime. Minister Gryshchenko informed that since the introduction of the visa free regime the numbers of visits between the two countries doubled. He explained that economically developed Israel was traditionally cautious about migration risks which made the introduction of the visa free regime even more noteworthy for Ukraine. Ukrainian minister emphasized that both sides documented positive results of the development. “This is a serious signal for those [persons] in the EU who fear the mythical wave of the Ukrainian Gastarbeiters [to flood the EU in case visa free regime between Ukraine and the EU is introduced],” concluded Kostyantyn Gryshchenko.
On November 15, 2011, the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych congratulated the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of the declaration of the independence of the Palestinian state. In his address President Yanukovych expressed hope for future friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between Palestinian state and Ukraine. The Ukrainian president reckoned this could help the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
Over a hundred countries recognized the independence of Palestine to date. However, the state was not admitted to the UN in its most recent bid to join the organization. The U.S. as well as many European states opposed the recognition of Palestine. Spain appeared to be one of the few EU members to support the Palestinian state in its UN bid. The President of France Nicolas Sarkozy also actively supported the bid.