Arab League allows PA to seek statehood via UN

PA official tells 'Post' Palestinian application for non-member status at UN could be presented before end of year.

UN General Assembly 311 (photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
UN General Assembly 311
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The Palestinian Authority has received a green light from the Arab League to seek UN recognition of a Palestinian state, PA officials said Wednesday.
The officials told The Jerusalem Post that no date has been set for presenting the application to the UN. But one official said that the application would be presented to the UN “probably before the end of the year.” He said that the application would include a request for recognition of Palestine as a non-member state of the UN.
The official voiced confidence that the PA request would be approved by a vast majority of UN members.
“We know we have a big majority in the UN that would vote in favor of Palestinian membership,” the official told the Post.
He denied reports that the PA was planning to file the request in early September, as indicated by the Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry in Ramallah.
The PA was forced to abandon another request for UN membership last year after failing to secure the backing of nine members of the Security Council. The PA says that the new application will be filed with the General Assembly, where it hopes to gain the support of at least 130 countries,.
Another PA official said that the Arab League foreign ministers, who met in Doha, Qatar, last weekend, declared their backing for PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s intention to seek UN membership.
The Arab League, the official added, advised Abbas to “assess all his options” before going to the UN. The Arab ministers told Abbas that they were concerned that such a move would anger the US administration and prompt Congress to impose sanctions on the Palestinians, including closing down the PLO diplomatic mission in Washington.
At the Doha gathering, Abbas complained that Israel’s policies have damaged the peace process and made it impossible for him to return to the negotiating table. Abbas also told the Arab ministers that the US was strongly opposed to his plan to seek unilateral UN recognition of a Palestinian state.
Abbas also complained about the severe financial crisis facing the PA government in the West Bank and urged the Arab countries to provide the Palestinians with emergency financial aid.