Sunday, August 14, 2011

PA sets date for UN statehood bid

Acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas

Source: Press TV

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has declared September 20 as the date when it will apply for the United Nations' recognition of Palestine as an independent state.

"[Acting PA Chief] Mahmud Abbas will personally present the request to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon... at the opening of the 66th session [on September 20]," PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters on Saturday in his office in Ramallah, AFP reported.

Abbas "will insist on this historic initiative and Ban Ki-moon will present the request to the Security Council," he added.

Maliki further added that the leadership of the PA had chosen September to submit their bid as it coincides with Lebanon's presidency of the UN Security Council.

"We chose to submit it in September because the Lebanese envoy will be president of the Security Council and plays a pivotal role," Maliki said.

Ban will pass it on to the president of the Council after the bid has been handed to him.

The Palestinian resistance movements of Hamas and Fatah agreed to make the application after signing a unity deal in May.

However, the plan has been opposed by the United States, Israel and some of their Western allies. Washington has promised to veto any vote for the recognition.

More than 100 countries have so far officially recognized Palestine as a sovereign state based on the 1967 borders, the boundaries that existed before Israel captured and annexed East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

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