RAMALLAH, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry said Thursday that "pressure and bullying" by some world powers had caused the delay of a vote for its membership of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The Palestinians submitted a request last year to become a member of the UNWTO with its vote slated this week. However, the Israeli media said that the UN body decided on Wednesday to postpone the vote to its future meetings in the next two years.
"Pressure and bullying were used by some world powers to influence the membership process in this phase," said the Palestinian statement, referring to the claims by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that the delayed vote was "a result of Israeli and U.S. pressure."
The statement also said that the Palestinians agreed to postpone the vote as a strategic move to maintain current momentum of international support and hoped to "build on it until the next session."
According to the statement, the Palestinian delegation has realized that the vote during this session held in China would not be successful, so it decided to postpone the vote after consultation with its supporters and friends.
The Palestinian ministry said that the efforts to join the UNWTO will continue, along with its "battle" to join other UN organizations.