News / Middle East

Abbas: Palestinians Submitting Statehood Bid Friday

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters, Sept. 19, 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrives for a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at UN headquarters, Sept. 19, 2011

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Monday he will formally submit an application for Palestinian membership in the United Nations on Friday.  Mr. Abbas met U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as U.S. and European diplomats continued efforts to re-start direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and prevent a political clash at the U.N.  

The Palestinian leader again said he will seek membership status in some form in the United Nations.

But his decision to submit the request in conjunction with his U.N. General Assembly speech on Friday leaves time for more diplomacy by the international Middle East Quartet aimed at heading off a U.N. confrontation that could set back regional peace hopes.

The Quartet - made up of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations - are trying to come up with a framework for resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that both sides would accept and prompt the Palestinians to set aside their membership bid in the U.N.

Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Monday, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said the status quo between Israel and the Palestinians is unacceptable and could lead to an explosion of violence.

But at the same time, he said a Palestinian bid for full-fledged U.N. membership in the Security Council - facing a U.S. veto - would yield nothing but frustration.

“If the Palestinians go to the Security Council, the resolution will not pass, of course, and you know why," said Juppe. "Maybe there will not be the nine votes to pass the resolution and if there are nine votes, the American government has announced it will veto the resolution. So there is no outcome at this level.”

The Palestinians could avoid the Security Council and seek to upgrade their observer status in the U.N. General Assembly.

That would allow them to, among other things, pursue action against Israel in the International Criminal Court on such issues as Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

But Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon warned late Sunday Israel would counter with its own ICC cases on such things as terrorism and human rights violations by the radical Palestinian faction Hamas which controls Gaza.

“I must emphasize, we stand ready to cooperate with the Palestinians, to negotiate with the Palestinians, and to come at an agreed upon solution," said Ayalon. "It has to come on both sides. Any attempt to take the conflict into international fora, be it here, be it in The Hague, be it in Geneva, will be futile."

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, special envoy for the Quartet, says the group is seeking a mutually-agreed framework on which a renewal of direct talks can be based, regardless of any statehood action at the U.N.

“What we’re looking to do is to put together a structure for this statement that makes it clear what the basic shape and direction of this negotiation should be, so a state of Palestine is viable and contiguous, sovereign and independent, so that Israelis feel that their security interests are properly protected," said Blair. "And I think there is also broad agreement now that there should be a clear time-line for this.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is holding a series of bilateral meetings with foreign ministers in New York in support of Quartet diplomacy.

In a meeting Monday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, she urged Ankara to “keep the door open” to improving relations with Israel.

Those ties have been in a tail-spin since Israel killed nine Turkish citizens when it intercepted aid boats trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza last year.   

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid