PA President Mahmoud Abbas 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday he would
demand full membership of the United Nations when he goes to the UN
General Assembly next week, setting up a diplomatic clash with Israel
and the United States.
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"We are going to the United Nations to
request our legitimate right, obtaining full membership for Palestine in
this organization," Abbas said in a televised speech, indicating he
would seek a vote on the issue in the UN Security Council.
"We are going to the Security Council," he added, to rapturous applause
from his audience of Palestinian leaders. "As for other options, we have
not yet taken a decision on them," he said.
said that nobody should have any illusions that he will come back from
New York with independence.
"If we succeed, and this is what we
are working towards, then we must know that the day following the
recognition of the state, the occupation will not end," Abbas said.
"But we will have obtained the world's recognition that our state is
occupied and that our land is occupied and not disputed territory, as
the Israeli government claims," he said.
He added that the move is
not intended to isolate Israel or delegitimize its legal status. "Israel
is there, no one can isolate or take away its legal status, but we need
to isolate the policies of Israel. We need to put an end to the
occupation and take away the legal status of the occupation."
PA president said that recognition of statehood with pre-1967 borders
is necessary for renewed negotiations with Israel. "We need to have full
[UN] membership within [pre-1967] borders in order to go to
negotiations on a basis adopted by the world so that we may discuss the
permanent issues of Jerusalem, borders, refugees - and our prisoners in
"We're not going there to bring independence, we will come back to
negotiate the issues, but god willing, we need full membership in the
He stressed that any popular protests in support of his initiative
should be peaceful. Jerusalem fears that the UN showdown could spark
violence across the West Bank and is putting IDF forces on high alert in
Abbas is due to address the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23, when he said he would present Palestine's membership bid.