PA leadership rallying support for UN bid

Erekat says he doesn't know when the PA request will be submitted to the UN, there is no deadline for filing such a request.

Abbas Erekat Arafat 311 R (photo credit: REUTERS)
Abbas Erekat Arafat 311 R
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority leadership is scheduled to meet in Ramallah on August 4 to lay the final touches for its plan to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Sunday.
Erekat said he didn’t know when the PA request would be submitted to the UN, adding that there was no deadline for filing such a request.
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“President Abbas will announce the exact date for submitting the request [to the UN],” Erekat said. “We will ask for membership in the UN. This does not contradict with the peace process.”
Erekat said that Abbas’s recent tour of EU countries and Turkey was successful in rallying support for the PA statehood bid.
Regarding the severe financial crisis facing the PA, Erekat said that some Arab countries have promised to help solve the problem.
PA Foreign Minister Riad al- Malki is expected to visit a number of South America countries in a bid to persuade them to support the statehood bid in the UN in September.
The tour will include Peru, Venezuela and Mexico and the Carribean Islands. An aide to the PA foreign minister said that there were still 19 countries in those regions that have not recognized a Palestinian state.
The PA ambassador to Peru, Walid Abdel Raheem, announced that Peru and Ecuador have decided to vote in favor of a Palestinian state in September.
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On Saturday, Abbas convened a conference of some 90 PA ambassadors in Istanbul, Turkey, to prepare for the statehood initiative in September.
Abbas instructed the ambassadors to launch a massive diplomatic offensive to enlist as many countries as possible in favor of the statehood plan. The Palestinians are hoping to win the support of at least 130 countries by September. They say 118 countries have already stated that they would support the PA motion in the UN.