News / Middle East

    Palestinian UN Bid Goes to Committee

    People attend a public screening of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. in Ramallah , Sept. 23, 2011.
    People attend a public screening of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' speech to the U.N. in Ramallah , Sept. 23, 2011.
    Margaret Besheer

    The United Nations Security Council took its first official step Wednesday toward considering the Palestinian application for full U.N. membership, passing it to a special committee that will review it and make recommendations.

    The standing committee on new members is tasked with deciding whether the territory known as Palestine meets the criteria for statehood, including possession of a defined territory and a recognized government. Under the U.N. Charter, a new member must also be “peace-loving.”

    The committee will take up its work at the ambassador level on Friday morning and report its conclusions to the Security Council. The council will then decide whether to make a recommendation to the General Assembly via resolution.

    A decision is not likely for weeks, but analysts say the bid is bound to fail because the United States has threatened to use Washington's veto power on the Security Council to block it.

    After Wednesday's action, the Palestinian envoy, Riyad Mansour, told reporters the process is moving forward.

    "We hope the Security Council [will] shoulder its responsibility and approve our application and send a recommendation to the General Assembly for the admission of Palestine to the United Nations," he said.

    Last week, on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, the Middle East Quartet - made up of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - issued a call for the Palestinians and Israel to return to direct negotiations. Those talks broke down last September after Israel allowed a moratorium on settlement construction to expire.

    On Tuesday, Israel announced that it would build 1,100 new homes for Israelis on annexed land in East Jerusalem that Palestinians want as part of a future state. Mansour called the action a clear answer from the Israeli government about negotiations.

    "They gave 1,100 answers of saying 'no' to the effort of the international community of opening doors for negotiations," he said. "I think this speaks clearly that Israel is not interested in negotiating with us, in spite of the fact that they say they like to do so."

    Mansour said Israel's construction plans violate tenets of prior negotiations and international law. "Those who are interested in peace and negotiation would abide by their obligation under the Road Map which calls for freeze of settlements," he said. "They would abide by international law which says that settlements are illegal."

    Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said there are no short-cuts to a Palestinian state.

    "I would like to emphasize that a Palestinian state - a real Palestinian state, a viable Palestinian state - will not be achieved in imposing things from the outside, but only in direct negotiations," he said, pointing to successful peace agreements between Israel with Egypt and Jordan.

    “We can do it ourselves [and] we can do it by talking to each other," he said. "We know the problems; we know how tough this is. There are no shortcuts. There are no instant solutions here."

    Both ambassadors said their governments would consider and respond to the Quartet stance, which calls both sides back to talks within one month and lays out a timeline for resolving outstanding issues by the end of next year.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora