PA denies US veto on ITU membership 20Nov10 November 21, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  20 November 2010

The Palestinian Authority Telecommunications Ministry denied on Saturday media reports that US pressure prevented Palestine from becoming a member state in the International Telecommunications Union.

Telecommunications Minister Mashhour Abu Daqa said a Palestinian delegation obtained unanimous approval, including from the US, to upgrade its representation in the union at a meeting held in Mexico in October.

A Reuters report Friday quoted senior Palestinian official Sulaiman Zuhairi as saying that a Palestinian delegation had backed down from its request for member state status at the Mexico meeting due to pressure from Washington.

The official explained that rather than submit the request to a vote, the delegation “realized that what we can get via agreement is much better,” Reuters reported.

In a statement, Abu Daqa denied the report and said the PA now has the right to participate in the ITU’s conferences, to enter into treaties, and to submit proposals. Further, the ITU adopted a resolution to support the PA in rebuilding its communication networks, he added.

“This is a very important step to develop the telecom sector in line with the Palestinian government’s plan, concerning the continuation of building the State’s institutions to prepare for the statehood,” Abu Daqa said.

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