Abbas insists to apply to UN in September despite difficult position

16:50, June 30, 2011      

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) heads attends a joint meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee and the Fatah central committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 26, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

by Osama Radi, Omer Othmani, Emad Drimly

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas still insists to apply to the United Nations in September to demand a full membership of the state of Palestine, although, as observers say, his stance is getting more difficult on the internal and foreign levels.

Despite the opposition of Israel and United States to the Palestinian intent to apply to the UN, Abbas reiterated in a joint news conference held with his Azerbaijani counterpart in the Azerbaijani capital on Tuesday that he still insists to apply to the UN in September.

"We are with the negotiations with Israel first, second and third and we are with the peaceful means to reach peace via talks, but if we didn't succeed, we would go to the UN to tell the world what do you think of people who spent 63 years under occupation and seek independence nothing more," said Abbas.

Abbas had earlier repeated on various occasions that his first choice is to hold talks with Israel, and the talks should be based on an international reference and the two-state solution with the 1967 borders and a specific timetable with a complete freeze of settlement construction.

The Palestinians suspended the direct peace talks with Israel in October 2010, one month after it was launched in Washington. The talks were suspended after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on freezing settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.


Observers say that Abbas, who has always been insisting on the peaceful moves to establish the Palestinian state, seeks to take the initiative and exert pressure on Israel and other international parties "only to find a solution to a conflict that lasted for six decades."

However, there are potential difficulties waiting for Abbas, which will be the first of its kind for the Palestinians to move ahead towards ending the Israeli occupation and establish their state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, as the peace talks have been stalled for years.

The U.S. and other European countries, mainly Germany, have clearly announced that they oppose the Palestinian intent to demand a full membership of the Palestinian state in the UN General Assembly. They consider the step "a useless unilateral step."

The U.S. hasn't yet officially announced that it would veto any Palestinian attempt in the UN, but officials in Washington said " the U.S. would block any attempt aiming at grabbing legitimacy from Israel."


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Xinhua there are arrangements to hold an emergency meeting of the Arab League Follow-up Committee in early July to decide on the Palestinian application to the UN. He said the Palestinian move won't contradict with the peace process with Israel.

A senior Palestinian official also told Xinhua that Abbas has formed a highest committee that includes six of his aides who are involved in the negotiations. The committee, according to the official, will prepare for the Palestinian bid of heading to the UN in September.

Abbas has also instructed the Palestinian ambassadors all over the world, mainly in Europe, to gain more political and diplomatic support for the Palestinian move. The Palestinians need the support of nine UN Security Council members, without the veto of any of the five permanent members.

In case Washington used the veto in the Security Council, the Palestinians would go the UN General Assembly and would need the support of 129 countries.

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