PA President Mahmoud Abbas 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said that he
remains committed to seeking full membership for a Palestinian state at
the United Nations despite the fact that that he is facing "huge" international pressure to abandon the plan and he expects "difficult times" in the aftermath of the bid.
Netanyahu says he'll address UN ahead of PA state vote
"We decided to take this step and all hell has broken out against us," Abbas was quoted by the Ma'an news agency as tellling reporters on his flight to New York.
UN’s Serry: Only diplomacy can secure Palestinian
“The Palestinian people and their leadership will pass through very
difficult times after the Palestinian approach to the United Nations
through the Security Council to seek full membership for the Palestinian
state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Abbas added, according to AFP.
A last-ditch international push began in New York on Sunday to try to
relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a crisis over
Palestinian statehood at the United Nations as members of the so-called
Quartet of Middle East mediators met in New York.
Officials met two days after Abbas said he would demand full membership
of the world body for a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly
this week, setting up a diplomatic clash with Israel and the United
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with EU foreign policy
chief Catherine Ashton. Asked before the meeting if either could report
any progress, Clinton replied, "We are meeting to talk about the way
forward." Asked if that meant no progress, she said, "I didn't say
Senior diplomats from the United States, Russia, the European Union and
the United Nations - the Quartet - met on Sunday, an EU official said,
as part of an intense effort in recent weeks to persuade the
Palestinians to drop their UN plans.
The official said the diplomats were assessing the situation, but gave no further details.
The United States says it will veto in the Security Council a
Palestinian application for full UN membership, but former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, who serves an an envoy for the Quartet, said on
Sunday a showdown could still be averted.
Blair told reporters, "The Palestinians are here at the UN now, so the
question is ... can people find a way that enables the Palestinians to
take a significant step forward to statehood at the same time as not
ending up in a situation where the UN replaces negotiations?"
Abbas said that he had considered proposals put forth by the Quartet to
stave off the statehood bid, but they did not support the PA's goal of a
sovereign Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
"We told them that any proposals which do not include a Palestinian
state based on 1967 borders and an end to settlement expansion are
unacceptable," he was quoted by Ma'an as saying.
Abbas was scheduled to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the statehood bid on Monday in New York.