UN Security Council_311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority wants the United Nations Security Council to
decide on their bid for full membership of the world body within a
fortnight, a leading official in the Fatah movement of PA President Mahmoud
Abbas said on Saturday.
"Palestinians will wait two weeks for the
Security Council to consider application for membership," the official,
Azzam al-Ahmad, was quoted as telling the Ma'an news agency in
:PA unhappy with 'incomplete' Quartet peace initiativeClinton: Peace only possible through negotiations
UN ambassador said the Security Council would convene on Monday to
discuss the application after Abbas presented it to UN Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon on Friday.
"I circulated the letter (Palestinian
application) to all members of the Security Council and I called for
consultations in light of this letter on Monday at three in the
afternoon (1900 GMT)," Ambassador Nawaf Salam told reporters.
Ahmad did not elaborate on what course of action the Palestinians would
pursue if the Security Council rejected the request, a likely scenario
considering the United States has said it will veto the move.
Apart from the US veto threat, it was also unclear if the required nine of the body's 15 members would support the bid.
Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki told national
radio that officials were still hoping to garner the required votes.
"Consultations continue, especially with Gabon, Nigeria and
Bosnia-Herzegovina, which have yet to define their position," Maliki was
quoted as saying.
PA could potentially ask for upgrade in status from General Assembly
Alternate to the Security Council, the Palestinians, who currently have
observer status at the UN, could ask for the General Assembly to vote
to upgrade them to a non-member state which would allow them membership
of a number of UN agencies.
The General Assembly vote requires only a simple majority of the current
193 member nations, seemingly an easy proposition for the Palestinians.
In his speech to the General Assembly on Friday after presenting the
request, Abbas said: "I do not believe that anyone with a shred of
conscience can reject our application ... and our admission as an
But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who spoke shortly after
Abbas, said peace could be achieved only through negotiations and
dismissed the world body as a "theater of the absurd."
Shortly after the two men ended their speeches, the quartet of Middle
East peace negotiators -- the United States, Russia, the European Union
and the UN -- issued a call for a return to direct peace talks which
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said was a "concrete proposal".
"The United States is very pleased that the Quartet was able to issue a
statement today with a concrete and detailed proposal to begin a
negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians without delay or
pre-condition," she said.
Abbas accepts negotiations are still necessary, but argues statehood
will put Palestinians on a more equal footing. Israel sees the UN bid
as an attempt to erode its own legitimacy.
Palestinians want to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, a coastal
enclave controlled by Islamist Hamas who are opposed to peace talks, and
in the West Bank with east Jerusalem as the capital, land Israel
captured in a 1967 Middle East War.