JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked his Czech counterpart Saturday for Prague’s vote at the UN against recognizing a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu’s office called the Czech vote “courageous” and said the Israeli leader will visit Prague this week en route to Germany to personally thank Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas.

The Palestinians’ upgrade to nonvoting observer state status passed at the UN General Assembly 138-9, with 41 abstentions last week. The US and Canada also voted against the upgrade. Prague was the only European capital to vote against.

Israel says a two-state solution to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians should be reached through peace talks and not by unilateral moves.

The Palestinians’ new status bolsters its position for independence and grants it access to UN agencies and international bodies, most significantly the International Criminal Court.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.