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Palestine chosen to lead UN's Group of 77

ISRAEL reacted angrily today after Palestine won leadership of the largest formal bloc of countries at the United Nations.

Palestine has been chosen to lead the Group of 77, which counts 134 developing countries as members but retains the name it adopted when founded in 1964, from January 1 next year, succeeding current chair Egypt.

The bloc often votes in sync at the UN general assembly and its members comprise 80 per cent of the world’s population.

Tel Aviv’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon told the Times of Israel that the group would become a platform “for spreading lies and incitement.”

But Palestinian counterpart Riyad Mansour said Palestine would be proud to be “negotiating on behalf of 135 countries” — the 135th being Palestine itself.

“They’re still denying we are a state,” Mr Mansour said. “We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state.”

Of 193 UN member states, 136 currently recognise the state of Palestine. Britain does not, but Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has pledged to do so when elected.

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