RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 04th Nov, 2016 ) - The Palestinian government will protest against a delay in its application to join the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) at the body's annual conference next week, an official said Friday. "Palestine applied for membership of Interpol more than a year ago, but the executive committee of Interpol rejected the Palestinian request for a vote and referred it to a committee of experts for examination," foreign ministry official Ammar Hijazi told AFP.
He added that "executive measures" had prevented the issue being on the agenda for Interpol's next annual meeting, to be held on the Indonesian island of Bali from November 7-10. Hijazi said Palestinian officials would nevertheless attend the meeting to register their protest. "There is no plan to vote on the Palestinian request at the next meeting, but the diplomatic battle ahead is to expose what the Executive Committee did to postpone a decision," he said, adding that the Palestinian Authority was seeking to enlist support for its bid.
Interpol confirmed it had received "several" requests from member countries to discuss Palestine's membership at the annual conference. "However, under Interpol's rules it is the Executive Committee which sets the agenda," a statement said. The committee will meet on Saturday to finalise the agenda, it added. The Lyon-based Interpol currently has 190 member countries, enabling police across the globe to share information. The State of Palestine gained observer status at the United Nations in 2012 and since then has joined 54 international organisations and agreements, according to Hijazi.
Among them are the International Criminal Court and the United Nations heritage body UNESCO. Israel has opposed such moves, delaying payments of taxes to the Palestinians after their 2015 ICC application. The Israeli foreign ministry declined formal comment, but an official confirmed it was opposing the bid. "We think this is not the right move," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.