Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not ask the UN General
Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state next month, Foreign Minister Riad
Maliki said on Thursday.
Abbas had said that he would seek the status of
nonmember for a Palestinian state in the UN during next month’s General Assembly
meeting despite opposition from the US and Israel.
But Maliki said that
instead Abbas would only deliver a speech at the General Assembly session on
September 27, where he was planning to announce his intention to seek the status
of non-member in the UN.
“President Abbas will ask the head of the
Palestinian mission to the UN to launch contacts with regional groups in the UN
and the secretary-general about the best formula for presenting a request for
membership that would win the support of a majority of countries,” Maliki told
the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
Abbas’s decision to delay the new
statehood bid will spare him a confrontation with the US administration, whose
representatives have been exerting pressure on him in recent weeks to refrain
from such a move on the eve of the American presidential election.
senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas decided to
delay the statehood bid because of US “threats and extortion.” The official said
that the US administration and some EU countries had threatened financial
sanctions against the PA if Abbas insisted on filing another request with the UN
for recognition of a Palestinian state next month.