March 12th, 2010
10:48 AM ET

Do more than five dozen nations not recognize Isreal?

On CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS," King Abdullah II of Jordan said that the only viable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a two-state solution. "Fifty-seven nations, a third of the United Nations, do not recognize Israel today," he said. "So, they're isolated in the neighborhood and further afield."

Fact Check: Are there really 57 nations that do not recognize Israel?

– The CNN Fact Check Desk crunched some numbers. We compared the United Nations list of member countries, (which the king referred to in his statement) with a list of countries that Israel reports it has diplomatic relations with.

– According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs' list, we found that 155 out of 191 U.N. member countries have diplomatic relations with Israel. According to their list, that would leave 36 U.N. countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

– CNN reached out to the king's representatives for clarification of his number. While we did not get an official response, a source close to the king said he was referring to the 57 member countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, or the OIC, when he made his comment.

– The OIC describes itself as "the collective voice of the Muslim world" and supported the Arab Peace Initiative. However, at least three of the OIC members recognize Israel. They are Jordan, Turkey and Egypt. Also, the OIC lists Palestine as a member, but the United Nations does not.

– According to the Web site of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, several OIC members have "diplomatic relations" with Israel, including: Albania, Azerbaijan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Nigeria, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The remaining 30 OIC countries that are in the United Nations have no diplomatic relations with Israel, and make up about 16 percent of the United Nations.

Bottom Line:

King Abdullah II appears off with his figures. The CNN Fact Check Desk found no numbers to support the 57 figure he cited. If he was indeed referring to the 57 members of the OIC, no fewer than three of those countries recognize Israel and several more maintain diplomatic relations.

Got something that needs checking? Email us at factcheck@cnn.com

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