Palestinians want statehood bid decided in 2 weeks

2011-09-24 14:34

The Palestinians want the United Nations Security Council to decide on their bid for full membership of the world body within a fortnight, a leading official in the Fatah movement of President Mahmoud Abbas said today.

“Palestinians will wait two weeks for Security Council to consider application for membership,” the official, Azzam al-Ahmad, was quoted telling the official Maan news agency in English.

Lebanon’s UN ambassador said the Security Council would convene on Monday to discuss the application after Abbas presented it to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday.

“I circulated the letter (Palestinian application) to all members of the Security Council and I called for consultations in light of this letter on Monday at three in the afternoon (9pm SA time),” Ambassador Nawaf Salam told reporters.

Ahmad did not elaborate on what course of action the Palestinians would pursue if the Security Council rejected the request, a likely scenario considering the United States has said it will veto the move.

Abbas’s statehood bid reflects his loss of faith after 20 years of failed peace talks sponsored by the United States, and alarm at Israeli settlement expansion in occupied land that Palestinians want for a state.

Apart from the US veto threat, it was also unclear if the required nine of the body’s 15 members would support the bid.
 
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki told national radio that officials were still hoping to garner the required votes.
 
“Consultations continue, especially with Gabon, Nigeria and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which have yet to define their position,” Maliki was quoted as saying.

Alternate to the Security Council, the Palestinians, who currently have observer status at the UN, could ask for the General Assembly to vote to upgrade them to a non-member state which would allow them membership of a number of UN agencies.

The General Assembly vote requires only a simple majority of the current 193 member nations, seemingly an easy proposition for the Palestinians.

In his speech to the General Assembly yesterday after presenting the request, Abbas said: “I do not believe that anyone with a shred of conscience can reject our application ... and our admission as an independent state.”

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke shortly after Abbas, said peace could be achieved only through negotiations and dismissed the world body as a “theatre of the absurd”.

Shortly after the two men ended their speeches, the quartet of Middle East peace negotiators – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN – issued a call for a return to direct peace talks which US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said was a “concrete proposal”.

“The United States is very pleased that the Quartet was able to issue a statement today with a concrete and detailed proposal to begin a negotiation between the Israelis and the Palestinians without delay or pre-condition,” she said.

Abbas accepts negotiations are still necessary, but argues statehood will put Palestinians on a more equal footing.
Israel sees the UN bid as an attempt to erode its own legitimacy.

Palestinians want to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, a coastal enclave controlled by Islamist Hamas who are opposed to peace talks, and in the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital, land Israel captured in a 1967 Middle East War.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.