Ashrawi welcomes Interpol's decision to admit Palestine as a full member

PA President Mahmoud Abbas

"In the context of reviewing opportunities to strengthen mutual cooperation and coordination, Ashrawi called on the New Zealand government to recognize Palestine as a demonstration of its firm commitment to the two-state solution and a just peace".

Global police agency Interpol has voted to include the "State of Palestine" as a member, in a new boost to Palestinian efforts for worldwide recognition.

Israel had appealed to the Interpol Executive Committee to keep the vote on the Palestinians off the agenda on the grounds that there is no State of Palestine, including under the organisation's guidelines.

The Israeli foreign ministry has yet to comment on the vote.

The Solomon Islands was also voted in as a new member of Interpol. "Perhaps they might have concerns that any information that they try to disseminate through Interpol's channels, Palestine would now have access to".

"The Palestinians have clearly not met the standards set by Interpol in contributing to make the world a safer place, in fact the opposite remains true", Heideman said.

More than 75 per cent of Interpol members are said to have voted to approve the Palestinian bid.

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PA Deputy Foreign Minister Tayseer Jaradat on Monday told The Jerusalem Post that Israel's opposition to the Palestinians joining Interpol is "unreasonable". "Therefore, we have the right to apply for membership in global organizations".

The Palestinians already have been providing evidence in a preliminary war crimes investigation against Israel at the International Criminal Court, another international body they have joined.

Cardin said any "red notices" issued by the Palestinians "will not be recognized in many countries, including the United States".

The Palestinians needed the support of at least two-thirds of the member countries to be accepted.

Interpol, which is based in the French city of Lyon, eases the exchange of information between police forces and issues "red notices" - non-binding notifications of arrest warrants - at the request of a member state or an worldwide tribunal.

A previous attempt to join Interpol was thwarted during the previous general assembly in Indonesia, when the body chose to postpone any vote on accepting new members.

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