News / Middle East

Abbas Rebuffs Appeals, Plans Statehood Bid at UN General Assembly

Palestinians take part in a rally in the West Bank city of Hebron September 21, 2011.
Palestinians take part in a rally in the West Bank city of Hebron September 21, 2011.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to formally ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state as a full member of the world body, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.

Abbas has rebuffed all appeals to drop the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon on Friday.

U.S. and European efforts in New York to avoid a diplomatic confrontation showed little sign of progress Thursday.  Envoys from the Middle East Quartet are expected to meet Friday on restarting Israeli - Palestinian negotiations.

The United States and Israel are pressuring Security Council members to either vote against the plan or abstain when it comes up for a vote. Even if the Palestinians manage to secure backing, the U.S. has pledged to veto the measure.

The Security Council could take weeks to consider the application, which would allow more time for diplomacy before the Palestinians consider their next move -  approaching the U.N. General Assembly to upgrade their status to a non-voting observer state.

Abbas aide Yasser Abed Rabbo said Thursday the Palestinian president believes the bid for U.N. membership will not prevent serious peace negotiations with Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli defense official Mickey Rosenfeld said the country's military, border patrol and police would coordinate a heightened alert level and that security forces would deploy into sensitive areas.

In a speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday, Obama said the path to achieving a sovereign Palestinian state is direct negotiations between the two sides, not "statements and resolutions at the United Nations."

Hundreds of Palestinians protested Mr. Obama's speech in the West Bank towns of Ramallah and Nablus on Thursday, holding anti-Obama signs and accusing him of being biased toward Israel.

The number two lawmakers in the House of Representatives  Republican Eric Cantor and Democrat Steny Hoyer warned Thursday that Congress "likely will reconsider" U.S. aid to the Palestinians and other aspects of bilateral relations if Abbas requests a U.N. vote on statehood.

But in a show of support for the Palestinians, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for international pressure on Israel to make peace with the Palestinians.  Erdogan said Israeli leaders "must see that real security is only possible by building real peace." He said Israel has continually flouted U.N. authority.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid