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Palestinians need separate vote to join IMF

Palestinians need separate vote to join IMF

Washington: The International Monetary Fund said that the UN vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member observer state does not mean the Palestinians will automatically become members of the financial institution.

In response to an AFP query, spokeswoman Wafa Amr said yesterday United Nations recognition "by itself has no direct effect on a possible application for membership of the IMF."

"The Fund has its own procedures for determining membership, which include the requirement that Fund members representing a majority of the Fund's voting power recognize the applicant to the Fund as a 'country'."

That would mean that the countries and blocs with the IMF's largest voting power, the United States and Europe, would have to back the Palestinian state's membership.

But Washington on Thursday voted against the resolution elevating the Palestinians' diplomatic status, and Europe was split over the matter. The UN General Assembly backed the measure 138-9 with 41 abstentions.

Joining the IMF would allow the Palestinians to benefit from financial advice and support from the Washington-based body.

Newly-formed South Sudan became the most recent country to join the IMF, in April this year, nine months after gaining independence.


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