PARIS: International police agency Interpol voted on Wednesday to include Palestine as a member state, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for international recognition and influence amid long-stalled negotiations with Israel for full statehood.
Interpol announced the inclusion of the “State of Palestine” as well as the Solomon Islands on Twitter and its website on Wednesday after a vote by its general assembly in Beijing. With the new votes, Interpol will have 192 member countries.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki hailed the vote as a “victory for law enforcement” and “voice of confidence in the capacity of law enforcement in Palestine”. He promised to uphold Palestinian commitments to combating crime and strengthening the rule of law.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office didn’t immediately comment on the vote, which comes after Palestinians won recognition in other world bodies. Opponents say recognising Palestine in international organisations undermines negotiations with Israel for full statehood. Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called it “another failure” for Netanyahu.
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, is an international clearing house for arrest warrants and police cooperation against cross-border terrorism, trafficking and other crimes.