Palestinian application starts way through 'UN machinery'

UN Sec.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon sends Abbas letter to president of Security Council, where application is set to be discussed early next week.

September 24, 2011 01:17
2 minute read.
PA President Abbas gives letter to Ban Ki-moon

PA President Abbas gives letter to Ban Ki-moon 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Eric Thayer)

NEW YORK – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s application for the admission of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations started winding its way through UN processes on Friday as a Quartet announcement put forth another timetable for new bilateral negotiations.

Abbas submitted an application in letter form to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon before his speech to the General Assembly, and proudly brandished a copy of the document during his time at the podium.

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“I would like to inform you that, before delivering this statement, I, in my capacity as president of the State of Palestine and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, submitted to His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, an application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with Al-Quds Al- Sharif as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations,” Abbas said during his speech, holding the paper up in his hand.

Ban verified the letter and sent the application to the president of the Security Council early on Friday afternoon, as he is required to do under the provisions of the UN Charter.

According to the charter, applications are to be considered by the Security Council, and that body, by a vote, determines whether or not to recommend admission to the General Assembly. If the Security Council does recommend admission, then the General Assembly would have to adopt a resolution to admit a new member state.

UN Security Council President Nawaf Salam of Lebanon said he received the application from the secretary-general on Friday afternoon, and forwarded it on to the council members of his group. The council will meet on Monday afternoon at 3 p.m. in consultation on the matter, Salam said.

Consultations, a spokesman for the Secretary General’s Office said, do not necessarily mean a vote, but simply mean a discussion among the council’s 15 members.

Quartet envoy Tony Blair said on Friday afternoon that the Palestinian application for statehood would percolate in the “machinery of the UN,” and that the application would proceed on a parallel course with the Quartet-facilitated bilateral negotiations.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her hope on Friday for renewed bilateral talks. “A just and lasting peace can only come from negotiations between the parties,” she said.

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