Palestine elected as G-77's presiding country, ambassador Riyad Mansour confirms

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

On Tuesday, Riyad Mansour, Palestine's ambassador to the United Nations, confirmed Palestine would preside next year over the UN's G-77 bloc of developing countries.

While speaking to The New York Times, Mansour said, "We will be negotiating on behalf of 135 countries". Formed in 1964, Group of 77 now represents about 80% of the world population. Palestine is expected to take over presiding for 2019 in January. Currently, the presiding nation is Egypt.

Palestine is an observer non-member state of the UN. In 2012, Israel and its ally the United States opposed promoting Palestine to "observer" status, and in 2015 both countries also opposed allowing Palestine to fly their flag at the UN.

Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon criticised Palestine's presiding, saying, "The goal of the Group of 77 originally was to facilitate the economic advancement of underdeveloped nations [...] It is unfortunate that it will now become a platform for spreading lies and incitement. This will not promote the G-77's goals, and encourages the Palestinians to not engage in negotiations for peace."