Palestinians pressed to drop UN bid


PressTV – Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:14AM GMT

A giant chair promoting the Palestinians’ bid at the United Nations for full membership is seen in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sept. 20, 2011.
Palestinians have come under intense pressure to drop their bid for UN membership as the US turns up the heat to dissuade other countries from supporting the Palestinian aspiration.

The White House has announced that US President Barack Obama would meet with Acting Palestinian Authority (PA) Chief Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Washington has been working intensely to stop Palestinians from submitting an application for the recognition of Palestine as an independent and a new member on Friday and has vowed to veto any such bid at the UN Security Council.

Abbas says he is under “tremendous pressure” for leading the Palestinian bid for statehood recognition at the UN.

The United States has threatened to veto any motion to recognize Palestine as an independent state as the Israeli regime stands ferociously against such a move.

Dozens of House Democrats have penned a letter saying the US “will reconsider its assistance program” if Palestinians keep pressing the statehood bid. “It’s not a matter of threats,” said Abbas, but Washington has told him “that things will be very difficult after September.”

PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also described US efforts to avert the Palestinian bid for full membership at the UN as ‘amazing’ and called on Washington to drop its opposition.

“I hope that the United States will change its position and follow the majority of countries which want to support the Palestinian right to self-determination and an independent state,” al-Maliki said after meeting his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

European diplomats and the group known as the Middle East Quartet are working behind the scenes to avert a showdown that could possibly end in an embarrassment for Washington and Tel Aviv, reports indicate.

Israel has strongly opposed the Palestinian move, saying the initiative would hinder the talks that were halted due to resumption of illegal Israeli settlement construction in September 2010.

PA says that more than 130 countries would recognize the state of Palestine, which is more than the two-thirds majority required in the 193-member UN General Assembly.

However, the Palestinians would first have to submit an application to the UN Security Council, whose approval is required for full membership, despite a US threat to veto the move. Then they will seek recognition short of a member status at the General Assembly.

Abbas arrived in New York on Monday and is expected to submit the Palestinian request for membership to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after addressing the General Assembly on Friday.


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