Ban Ki-moon tells PA he supports Palestinian statehood

In meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Rome, Ban throws weight behind UN vote, vision of Barack Obama.

June 2, 2011 23:29
1 minute read.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday voiced his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, but said that the matter is in the hands of the UN General Assembly, Palestinian Authority officials quoted him as saying.

The officials said that the secretary-general, who met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Rome, also expressed hope that members of the UN would show understanding for the Palestinian statehood bid.

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Abbas and Ban also discussed the situation in the Palestinian territories and efforts to resume stalled peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, the officials said.

According to a statement from the secretary-general's office, Ban used to the conversation to express his concern at the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process. He also told Abbas that he agreed with the territorial vision laid out by US President Barack Obama in his recent Middle East speech.

Ban also noted that Palestinian reconciliation should be based on PLO commitments and Quartet principles. He said the reconciliation effort should be given a chance and that he feels the formation of a Palestinian State is something that is long overdue.

According to Ban Ki-Moon's office, the secretary-general also told Abbas that he hoped any protests that occurred in the region on Sunday, which has been dubbed "Naksa Day," would be peaceful.

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