Abbas, Malki to visit UNSC countries in statehood push

PA president and FM to make visits to Bosnia, Colombia and Portugal in effort to secure 9 requisite votes for recognition of Palestinian state.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 30, 2011 11:08
2 minute read.
PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting

PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al Malki said Thursday that he would soon visit Bosnia, while PA President Mahmoud Abbas would visit Colombia and Portugal in October, as part of efforts to secure the necessary nine votes in the UN Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state as a full member in the world body, The Telegraph reported.

Bosnia, Colombia and Portugal are three of the 15 nations currently sitting on the UN Security Council that must make a determination on the Palestinian statehood issue.

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Malki added that Abbas will also visit Honduras and the Dominican Republic while on his Latin American swing, and the PA president was also scheduled to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France on October 6.

Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians have received approval from eight members of the UN Security Council in support of their bid for full membership to the United Nations.

If nine members of the Security Council vote in favor of the Palestinian state bid, the the resolution will pass, unless one of the council's five permanent members uses a veto.

While the US, one of those five, has said before that it would veto the Palestinian resolution, it has also stated that it would rather not be forced to use the veto.

The Palestinians, however, have been rigorous in garnering support from Security Council members. On Tuesday, Malki said that Nigeria, a non-permanent member of the UNSC, had joined seven other nations in throwing their support behind the Palestinian-membership resolution, despite the fact that Defense Minister Ehud Barak seemed to think he had persuaded Nigeria away from the Palestinian bid.

According to Malki, the eight Security Council members who will back the resolution are Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria, and Gabon - a Central African Nation that Israel media was reporting as being "on the fence" about the issue.

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution which declared the Palestinian people’s “legitimate right to create an independent state.”

The document was unanimously approved by members during the European Parliament session. The members stressed that EU states, along with the international community, should reconfirm their strong commitment to the security of Israel.

The decision came a day after the UN Security Council unanimously agreed to hand the Palestinian application to join the United Nations to a committee that will review and assess it in the coming weeks.


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