BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Friday sent a congratulatory cable to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on being granted a "UN non-member observer status", underlining that the decision is an important step on retrieving all Palestinian rights.
On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed an upgraded UN status for the Palestinian Authority.
The resolution elevates their status from "non-member observer entity" to "non-member observer state."
Palestinian President Abbas has been leading the campaign to gain support for the resolution despite threats by the United States and Israel that they will punish the Palestinian National Authority by withholding much-needed funds for the West Bank government.
A dozen European governments offered him their support after an eight-day conflict this month between Israel and Islamists in the Gaza
Strip who are pledged to destroy Israel and oppose Abbas' efforts toward a negotiated peace.
The US opposes the recognition of Palestine as a state.
On Tuesday, US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland called the Palestinian National Authority's decision to declare unilateral statehood a “mistake”, expressing strong disagreement with Washington's allies on the issue.
The US also harshly criticized France after it announced it would vote in favor of the recognition of the Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly this week.