PA considering options to advance statehood bid

UN envoy: PA waiting to see results of Amman talks, mulling moving bid to UNGA, joining other UN agencies.

PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour 311 (photo credit: Screencap: UN Webcast)
PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour 311
(photo credit: Screencap: UN Webcast)
The Palestinian Authority is considering a number of options with regard to its push for full membership in the United Nations but the timing of those steps will be affected by current efforts to restart direct negotiations with Israel, PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour said Friday.
Among the steps the PA is considering, Mansour explained, are reactivating the application in the Security Council, moving it to the UN General Assembly, joining other UN agencies and the option of becoming a state party to various international treaties and conventions.
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Regarding the recent talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Amman last week "to remove obstacles to negotiations," Mansour noted the deadline set by the Quartet for resuming talks later this month. With an eye on resuming the bid for statehood in the UN, he added, the PA is waiting "to see if these obstacles can be removed and if direct negotiations can resume," which he said is affecting the timing of possible actions in the UN.
PA negotiator Saeb Erekat met last Tuesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho in Amman along with representatives of the Jordanian Foreign Ministry and Quartet members. The parties are scheduled to hold a second meeting on Monday.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who is the only party authorized to speak with the press, said after the meeting that the Palestinian delegation submitted proposals on border and security issues to Israel.
Israel later gave the Palestinians a 21-point document dealing with general principles of what will be needed to reach a final agreement, Western diplomatic officials said late last week.
The officials said the topics on the list are among the issues expected to be discussed at a follow-up meeting in Amman on Monday.
That meeting will still be held at the level of negotiators, and no meeting between Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas has yet been set up.
Netanyahu, according to Israeli sources, wants a meeting with Abbas, since he is aware that if the negotiation process is to succeed, decisions are going to have to be made at the highest levels.
While Israeli officials refused to provide specifics about Israel’s document, the London-based pan- Arabic daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Wednesday that it included a refusal to accept Palestinian refugees in accordance with UN resolution 194 that stated that “refugees wishing to return to their homes” should be willing to do so.
The paper also said the 21 points included a refusal to withdraw from all the settlements; a security presence in the Jordan Valley; that the Palestinian state not be allowed to forge alliances with countries hostile to Israel; the continued presence of IDF forces at strategic West Bank sites; and an implementation of the agreement gradually over a number of years.
Herb Keinon and Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.