'PA to seek non-member state status at UN'

Abbas will seek backing of Arab League for move during meeting of foreign ministers in Doha, Qatar, PA official says.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R) (photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas 370 (R)
(photo credit: Luis Galdamez / Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority has decided to seek the status of non-member state of the UN General Assembly, PA officials said Sunday.
The officials said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas will seek the backing of the Arab League for the move during a meeting of foreign ministers in Doha, Qatar. The Arab League foreign ministers were scheduled to meet late Sunday at the request of Abbas.
“President Abbas has decided to seek the status of non-member of the UN General Assembly in the wake of Israel’s refusal to accept the two-state solution and halt construction in the settlements,” said a senior adviser to Abbas. “We hope that the US administration won’t try to block our effort.”
The official also voiced hope that the Arab ministers meeting in Doha would approve of the membership bid at the UN.
The US administration has expressed strong opposition to Abbas’s plan to return to the UN, particularly as the presidential election approaches, another Palestinian official told The Jerusalem Post.
The official said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who met recently with Abbas, warned him that a renewed PA bid at the UN would prompt Washington to cut off financial aid to the Palestinians.
But the Palestinians, according to the official, believe that because of the upcoming US election, this is the right time to resume efforts to seek membership.
Abbas, who visited Cairo last week, told Egyptian newspaper editors that he was determined to seek UN recognition despite US opposition.
He said that he would consult first with the Arab countries before setting a date for applying to the UN.
Abbas predicted that 133 countries would vote in favor of the PA application. He said that once Palestine becomes a non-member state of the UN, it will be an entity under Israeli occupation and the territories that were occupied in 1967 would no longer be considered disputed lands.
The Arab ministers are also expected to discuss the severe financial crisis facing the PA.
Abbas, according to his advisers, will urge the Arab countries to fulfill their financial pledges to the Palestinians.
Last week, Saudi Arabia transferred $100 million in emergency aid to the PA, allowing it to pay half-salaries to more than 150,000 public sector employees.