Arab FMs to Urge ‘Yes’ Vote on Palestinian UN Bid

Agence France Presse (AFP)16.08.2011 Security
Arab FMs to Urge ‘Yes’ Vote on Palestinian UN Bid

Arab FMs to Urge ‘Yes’ Vote on Palestinian UN Bid

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A delegation of Arab Foreign Ministers will urge permanent members of the Security Council this week to vote for Palestinian United Nations membership, a top Palestinian official said.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP the group would talk with representatives from the veto-wielding Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States in a bid to sway them in favor of the Palestinian request for membership.

“A delegation of Arab Foreign Ministers, headed by Qatar’s Foreign Minister will visit the 5 permanent members end of this week to persuade them to vote for UN recognition and membership for the Palestinian state,” Erekat told AFP.

The Palestinians have said they plan to approach the Security Council in September to seek membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, to include the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Washington said it will vote against membership, while Britain and France reacted to the bid with caution, suggesting they would prefer the Palestinians to return to peace talks than pursue UN membership.

Erekat said the Palestinians remain committed to the UN path, despite the opposition, emphasizing the position after Israel announced final approval last Thursday for 1,600 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem.

He urged the United States and President Barack Obama “to reconsider their position rejecting the Palestinian move to go to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

“We call on him to support this approach because it is the only way to preserve the two-state solution,” he added.

Erekat also said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon recently spoke with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas about the bid and told him that the UN was ready to receive a membership request “any time from now until September 20th.”

Abbas’ Fatah party leadership is scheduled to meet on Thursday and Friday this week to finalize the timeline for submitting the UN membership bid, Erekat said.


Source: AFP



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