'Palestinians officially begin UN state bid plans'

More than 100 Palestinian officials submit official statehood plans to Ban Ki-moon in Ramallah ceremony, report says.

September 8, 2011 14:09
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting

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


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The Palestinian Authority officially launched its bid to making Palestine the 194th state to join the UN Thursday, announcing a series of "peaceful events" before the opening of the UN General Assembly on September 20, the Press Association reported Thursday.

The plans were announced in a letter that was submitted to UN chief Ban Ki-moon at a ceremony in Ramallah's UN offices and was attended by about 100 Palestinian officials and national activists, Press Association said.

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The letter itself was presented by an elderly Palestinian woman who had reportedly lost a son and had seven other sons serving jail time in Israeli prisons because of terrorist activities. She was chosen, the report said, because her story is representative of the plight of the Palestinian people.

On Wednesday, the US - which sees the unilateral UN move as undermining chances to revive peace negotiations with Israel - officially asked the Palestinian Authority to abandon its plan to ask the UN later this month to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

The request was relayed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas by US Middle East envoy David Hale during a meeting in Ramallah, Palestinian officials said. The meeting was attended by senior White House official Dennis Ross and US Consul-General in Jerusalem, Daniel Rubenstien.

The officials said that the US envoys did not carry any new proposals for reviving the peace process.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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