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PLO Executive Committee Calls on World to Support UN Bid for Recognition of Palestine, Asks US Not to Oppose it

PLO committee calls on world to support UN bid

Published today (updated) 14/07/2011 18:04 RAMALLAH (Ma’an) --

The PLO executive committee called upon the international community on Tuesday to support the Palestinian UN bid for statehood.

The inability of the Mideast Quartet to move forward, and the rejection of a Palestinian state by Israeli PM Netanyahu, have made the UN bid the most favorable option to proceed with, a statement said.

The United States bears responsibility for Israel's continued occupation of Palestinian territories, the statement added.

It is understood that the PLO also disagrees with US language on 'gaps' between Israel and the Palestinians, noting that there only exists a gap between Israeli policies and international legitimacy.

The statement also reiterated support for political reconciliation and called upon Arab countries to commit to their financial responsibilities to the Palestinian Authority.

Palestinians call on US to support UN bid

Published yesterday (updated) 14/07/2011 15:28


The Palestinians have called on the United States to reverse course and support their United Nations membership bid, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday.

Erekat, speaking at a news conference in Ramallah, said the Palestinians had been in touch with Washington after a meeting of the Middle East peacemaking Quartet this week that failed to produce a final joint statement.

"In the aftermath of the Quartet meeting, yesterday we urged the United States administration to revisit, reassess, re-evaluate its position vis-a-vis our attempt to gain Palestine admittance to the UN," he said.

The Quartet meeting on Monday, which brought together representatives from the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia, was intended to discuss potential peace initiatives that could head off the Palestinian UN bid.

But the talks ended with no joint statement and no action plan, a sign the grouping remains divided on how to move forward.

The Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table without a freeze on settlement construction and clear parameters for new talks, including that any borders will be based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, with mutually agreed land swaps.

But Israel has rejected any new settlement moratorium, and says setting preconditions for talks prejudges the substance of negotiations.

The stalemate has left the Palestinians more determined to seek UN membership at a meeting of the General Assembly in September, despite Washington's explicit opposition to the move.

"We have been told by the Americans many times that they'll use a veto at the Security Council against our bid for admittance and we were told that at the General Assembly if we pursue that line at there will be consequences," Erekat said.

"Without Security Council approval, we cannot get admittance by the General Assembly," he said, adding the Palestinians could however seek to have their status upgraded to a non-member state by the General Assembly.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet on Thursday in Qatar with Arab representatives to discuss the legal aspects of the UN bid.

The Palestinians have insisted they do not see the plan as contradicting new peace talks.

But Erekat said he did not believe the Israeli government would agree to set parameters for negotiations, or accept using the pre-Six Day War lines as the basis for negotiations.

"I don't think we'll hear this from this government," he said.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 1967.

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