Abbas in Paris: Palestinians may seek non-member status at UN (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By AP and TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF 06/08/12)
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Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said Friday he may seek non-member
status for Palestine at the United Nations if peace talks with Israel
do not resume.
Abbas, speaking in Paris following a meeting with France’s newly
elected president, Francois Hollande, said seeking non-member status
would be the next move “if we are not returning to the negotiations.”
The Palestinians currently have observer status at the UN and an
upgrade by the General Assembly to “non-member” would give Palestine
recognition as a “state” — a move that could open the way for
Palestinians to take legal action against Israelis through the
International Criminal Court.
“We went to the Security Council. We did not obtain the vote
necessary,” Abbas said. “If we don’t return to the (peace)
negotiations, we’ll of course go to the General Assembly to obtain
the status of non-member state, as is the case for the Vatican.”
“Of course, we are going to encounter many obstacles,” he said.
Abbas, however, did not specify when the Palestinians might take
their bid to the General Assembly.
The Security Council blocked the Palestinians’ bid to become a full
member last September after they failed to get the required support
of nine of the Security Council’s 15 members.
The US insists on a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict before Palestine joins the UN. The US says it would veto a
resolution recommending membership now — leaving the Palestinians the
option of going to the 193-member General Assembly, where there are
Palestinians have refused to resume talks unless Israel stops
settlement building in the West Bank. At the press conference, Abbas
conditioned a return to the negotiating table on Israeli permission
to import weapons for the PA security forces and the release of
Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
“As for the negotiations, I just want to say that the ball is in Mr.
Netanyahu’s court,” said Abbas, referring to Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu. “If Mr. Netanyahu agrees to end the colonization
and recognize the borders, we will be inclined to take steps in this
Following the meeting with Abbas, Hollande called for the immediate
resumption of peace talks. Hollande added that only through renewed
negotiations could the Palestinian goal of statehood be achieved.
“Today, we must do everything to facilitate the recognition of a
Palestinian state via a negotiated process,” Hollande told a news
conference. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL 06/08/12)
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