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At UN, Palestine Takes Its Seat for Geographical Names, Over US Protest

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, July 31 -- The question of Palestine, including its status and where to seat it, arose Tuesday in the the meeting of the UN Group of Experts no Geographical Names.

  Following Palestine's joining UNESCO as a full member, it followed suit as Inner City Press reported at the Law of the Sea, to which the US is not a party.

  In early July Palestine asserted the same right regarding the Arms Trade Treaty talks, as first reported by Inner City Press. But after much back and forth, under the resulting compromise Palestine sat in the front row beside the Holy See.

  For the Geographical Names meeting, in which Palestine wants to raise a number of "re-namings" by Israel, there were three "loud" speakers against its seat: the US, Canada and Israel. Egypt spoke against the three and in support of Palestine.

The Palestinian delegation exclusively told Inner City Press about a report they submitted on contested names -- they didn't just show up for the seat -- as did Syria regarding the Golan. Talk turned to the Saudi drafted General Assembly resolution on Syria, on which there are informal consultations later on Tuesday, with a Thursday voted slated. Watch this site.

Footnote: being named from the podium as participating on Geographic Names was none other than Google: Google at the UN.

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