Arab League finalizing PA statehood application for UN

PA source: We’re under heavy pressure to drop plan, but it’s too late now; meeting in Doha being attended by Arab legal experts.

Elaraby 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Elaraby 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Representatives of the Arab League were scheduled to meet in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday night to lay the final touches on the Palestinian Authority’s application to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines.
The meeting comes as the PA leadership in Ramallah continues to face pressure from the US and EU to abandon its statehood plan and return to the negotiating table with Israel.
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The meeting in Doha was being attended by several Arab legal experts who were invited by the PA to help in the wording of the application to the UN in September.
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and Arab League Secretary- General Nabil Elaraby, who is considered an expert on international law, are also participating in the discussions.
When the application is completed, it will be handed over to the UN secretary general so he could bring it before the General Assembly in September, a PA official said.
Representatives of Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman, in addition to the PA, were taking part in the discussions on the statehood bid, the official said.
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In Ramallah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas held talks about the September plan with EU representative Christian Berger.
The EU has thus far refused to back the PA’s statehood bid, urging the Palestinians to agree to the resumption of peace talks with Israel.
A source close to Abbas said the EU envoy reiterated this position during the meeting with the PA president.
Abbas reportedly told Berger the decision to go to the UN in September was taken because of Israel’s insistence on continuing with its policy of construction in the settlements.
Also Wednesday, Abbas received a phone call from British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who also told him that London prefers to see the peace talks resumed instead of the statehood bid, the source said.
“We are under heavy pressure,” the source added.
“The Americans and some Europeans are calling us almost every day and asking that we drop the plan. But it’s too late now and they must know that the ball is in the Israeli court.”