News / Middle East

Palestinians Vow to Press Full Statehood Drive at UN

French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes a point during his address to the 66th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 21, 2011.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes a point during his address to the 66th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York, September 21, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Senior Palestinian officials say they will not back away from plans to apply for full statehood in the U.N. Security Council on Friday despite pressure from the United States and Europe. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Wednesday Palestinians should, for the time being, accept upgraded U.N. observer status and return to direct peace talks with Israel.

The Palestinians are facing heavy pressure to shelve their U.N. membership bid, including an admonition from U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday that the “short cut” of U.N. action will bring neither statehood nor self-determination.

But top Palestinian officials insist that full U.N. member status would strengthen their hand in eventual negotiations with Israel to end  its West Bank “occupation,” and that Palestinian authority needs action to preserve its political credibility.

Speaking after Mr. Obama’s U.N. General Assembly speech, veteran Palestinian official Nabil Sha’ath said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will ask U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Friday for a statehood vote in the U.N. Security Council.

He said a parallel request for elevated observer status in the U.N. General Assembly would suggest the Palestinians aren’t really serious about their statehood aspirations.

“We will give it real try," said Sha’ath. "We’re not bluffing. We’ll really give it a real try. And if we fail, we will keep knocking at the door of the Security Council later. But when do we go to the General Assembly? It is a decision that has not been made yet. Most likely we will, but when is a decision has not been made yet.”

Listen to US President Barack Obama's remarks on Israel-Palestinians:

IThe United States and European allies fear that a statehood bid in the Security Council, that would face a certain U.S. veto, would inflame Middle East tensions and set back peace hopes.

Members of the U.S. Congress have threatened to cut funding to the Palestinians, and even the United Nations itself, if statehood advances in the Security Council.

In a General Assembly speech widely seen as a compromise effort, French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed that Palestinians be given upgraded observer status while setting out a roadmap for direct talks with Israel to be concluded within a year.

“Let us begin negotiations and adopt a precise and ambitious timetable," said President Sarkozy. "Sixty years without moving one centimeter forward. Doesn’t that suggest we should change the method and scheduling here? Let’s have one month to resume discussions. Six months to find an agreement on borders and security. One year to reach a definitive agreement.”

President Obama told the assembly “there is no shortcut” to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that peace will not come through U.N. statements or resolutions.

Later in bilateral meeting with Mr. Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said standing with Israel and supporting direct talks is a badge of honor for the United States.

“I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state through the international community, but they’re not prepared yet to give peace to Israel in return," said Prime Minister Netanyahu. "And my hope is that there will be other leaders in the world, responsible leaders, who will heed your call, Mr. President, and oppose this effort to shortcut peace negotiations - in fact, to avoid them.  Because I think that avoiding these negotiations is bad for Israel, bad for the Palestinians, and bad for peace.”

The Israeli prime minister has said he is ready to meet Mr. Abbas this week in New York to resume direct peace talks without preconditions.  

Palestinian spokesman Sha’ath, however dismissed the Netanyahu offer as theatrics. He said the Palestinians would resume the stalled talks tomorrow, if Israel would show good faith by freezing settlement activity and ending the siege of Gaza.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid