Abbas: We'll go to UN General Assembly if US uses veto

On European tour, Palestinian Authority president lays out contingency plan in case Security Council resolution is vetoed.

July 19, 2011 08:56
2 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Chip East)


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Palestinians are waiting for confirmation from the United States whether it will use its veto power at the United Nations Security Council this September when the Palestinian Authority is scheduled to request recognition for an independent state, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas, currently in Norway, said that Palestinians would go to the UN General Assembly if any Security Council member vetoes the state bid.

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Abbas echoed statements made by PA negotiator Saeb Erekat earlier this week.

“This is a legal, political and moral right,” Erekat said. “If the US uses the veto against our request, we will return to the UN with a request to upgrade the status of the Palestinian state to non-member.

Afterward, we will go back to the Security Council once and twice and three times to ask for full membership.”

Erekat said that Abbas, who is currently touring a number of EU countries, would ask Norway and Spain to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.

“President Abbas is determined to go to the UN,” said Erekat, who is accompanying Abbas.

Abbas also plans to visit Turkey in the coming days, to attend a meeting of scores of PA ambassadors to discuss the PA’s diplomatic moves ahead of September, Erekat disclosed.

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Norway, host of the 1993 Palestinian-Israeli peace accords, said on Monday it was "perfectly legitimate" for Palestinians to take their case for statehood to the United Nations for voting in September.

"We will consider very carefully the proposed text that's to be put forward by the Palestinians in the coming weeks," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, with Abbas beside him at a press conference.

"Norway believes it is perfectly legitimate for the Palestinian president to turn to the United Nations with such proposals," Stoere said, adding that continued negotiations with Israel will be required in any case.

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