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Diplomacy & Politics
TOVAH LAZAROFF \
UN: Palestinian statehood bid likely in November
PA President Abbas gives letter to Ban Ki-moon 311 (R).
(photo credit:REUTERS/Eric Thayer)
The Palestinians are likely to present a resolution on their status at the
United Nations General Assembly in November, the GA’s new president, Vuk
Jeremic, told reporters in New York late Wednesday afternoon.“I think
that come the middle of November there will be an international debate on the
Palestinian issue,” Jeremic said. “My understanding is that the PA leadership is
going to engage in extensive discussions and consultations on this matter,
coming to a conclusion about what they want to do sometime in
November.”Jeremic added that as a result of conversations he had during
the opening session of the 67th GA in New York on this issue, “I am blocking out
November. I am not going to go for vacation in November.”PA President
Mahmoud Abbas and his chief negotiator Saeb Erekat have already said they plan
to ask the UN General Assembly to upgrade the Palestinians’ status from that of
an observer mission, to one of a non-member state.They are seeking the
support of 150 to 170 of the UN’s 193 member states, although all they need for
passage of their resolution is a majority vote. Passage of the resolution is
considered to be a de-facto recognition of unilateral Palestinian
statehood.It offers the Palestinians some additional rights as a
state.GA resolutions cannot be vetoed.The PA has opted for a GA
resolution, after failing to obtain the nine votes necessary from the 15
countries on the UN Security Council for full UN membership. Only the Security
Council can grant full UN membership.The US, which has veto power on the
council, has promised to veto a Palestinian membership bid if it
passes.Israel has opposed all Palestinian unilateral statehood bids at
the UN, fearing that it would harm the peace process by empowering Palestinians
to wage a diplomatic war on Israel.Israel has called on the Palestinians
to pursue statehood through a negotiated two-state solution that would end the
conflict between them.“We hope the Palestinians will seriously rethink
their strategy,” an Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post on
Thursday.“If they chose to do this it will be a mistake.It will
hurt peace and it will not bring the realization of a Palestinian state forward,
it will push it back,” the official said.“It will undermine confidence
in the negotiations and make the chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace
agreement much more difficult,” he said.Abbas and Erekat have said that
Palestinian statehood is an inalienable right and is not dependent on an end to
the conflict. They have said that a UN resolution that sets the territorial
parameters of the two-state solution at the pre-1967 lines would help pave the
way for a final status agreement between Israelis and
Palestinians.Erekat told reporters in Jericho last month that he hoped
the EU and the US would support their resolution. To that end, he said, he has
already met with EU representatives in the region and asked them to help draft
the text of the resolution.The US, however, has already begun to
pressure the PA to drop their unilateral bid.Jeremic said that when the
matter is brought to the GA, he would try and chair it in a “fair handed
way.”Based on what was said at the GA by international leaders, “there
was resounding support for a two-state solution that would take into account the
legitimate concerns of Israelis and Palestinians,” he said. “A lot of
delegations called for the resumption of negotiations.”
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