US rejects Palestinian bid to seek UN approval for state

"We don't believe it's a good idea," State Department spokesman says of PA plan to ask UNSC to recognize Palestinian state.

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
April 20, 2011 04:23
2 minute read.
Abbas

Abbas311 reuters. (photo credit: reuters)

 
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The US on Tuesday rejected Palestinian plans to pursue efforts to ask the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state in September.

"We don't believe it's a good idea, we don't believe it's helpful," US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement. "We continue to press both sides to begin talking again in direct negotiations," Toner said.

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, signalled that he was determined to pursue efforts to ask the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. During a visit to Tunisia, Abbas said: "We are counting on the words of US President Barack Obama who said his vision is to see a Palestinian state this coming September according to a deadline set by the Quartet."

"More than 130 countries have already recognized a Palestinian state on 1967 borders" the Palestinian Authority president said. "This number has the potential to reach 140 or 150" he continued.

Abbas said that Western European countries, such as Britain and France, were also likely to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Abbas is scheduled to visit France on Wednesday for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy on the Palestinian state issue.

Abbas is hoping to convince Sarkozy to support the PA’s intention to ask the United Nations Security Council in September to recognize a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

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Abbas is expected to meet next month with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to try to convince her too to recognize the Palestinian state.

PA negotiator Nabil Sha’ath said on Tuesday that in the context of these efforts the PA was continuing to build state institutions and isolate Israel in the international arena.

Sha’ath predicted that by September France, Sweden and Ireland would have recognized the proposed Palestinian state.

“By September, we would have won the recognition of two-thirds of the UN members,” he was quoted by the London-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper as saying. “This will entitle us to go to the Security Council and demand full membership.”

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