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Palestine to "announce final decision soon" on statehood bid at UN: envoy

(Xinhua)

13:58, September 16, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- A senior Palestinian diplomat said here on Thursday that "we will make the final decision soon" on how to proceed with the efforts to seek the UN recognition of its statehood and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas "will announce the final decision."

The statement came as Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian permanent observer to the United Nations, was speaking to reporters here against the backdrop of the strong U.S. opposition to the Palestinian bid to seek its statehood recognition at the United Nations.

"The final decision will be taking in next few days" as to which way to go to press ahead its statehood bid in the world body -- to go to the General Assembly or the Security Council, he said.

As world leaders gather at the UN Headquarters in New York next week, President Abas is expected to ask the world to recognize a Palestine state when he is addressing the General Debate of the 66th General Assembly session, diplomats said here.

"We have the right to join the international community as a full member," Mansour said.

Basem Elmary, coordinator of Palestinians for UN, was with Mansour here on Thursday to represent the Palestinian civil society in Palestine to campaign for the full Palestinian membership at the United Nations. He, while speaking to reporters here, described the U.S. opposition as "the blackmail to us."

"Palestine deserves to have full membership at the Untied Nations," Mansour said. "This campaign has this symbolic gesture of a chair, a set of Palestine to become a full members of the Untied nations."

"This campaign went into different parts of the globe and they ended in New York," Mansour said, adding that these Palestinians already met the president of the General Assembly here on Thursday and will talk to the president of the Security Council later on Thursday.

U.S. President Barack Obama has reiterated the American position that the recognition of the Palestinian state should be made through peace talks with Israel. Earlier, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said that an American veto against the vote at the Security Council should not be surprising.

The United States, which has the veto power on the 15-nation Security Council, is seeking an 11-hour compromise that would avoid a confrontation at the United Nations next week, reports said.

The Arab League signalled that it would press the Palestinians to seek a General Assembly vote to elevate the status of the Palestinian Authority from nonvoting "observer entity" to " observer state."

A vote in the General Assembly would not formally recognize a state of Palestine, but a vote at the Security Council, without a possible U.S. veto, would.

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