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Palestinians unveil UN membership resolution, no vote set

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The United States and Israel say a peace deal can only be achieved in direct talks.

  Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, speaks during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly. (AFP /  FILE PHOTO / STAND HIONDA)


Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, speaks during the 67th session of the UN General Assembly. (AFP / FILE PHOTO / STAND HONDA)

United momeny (AFP) – Palestinian envoys on Thursday unveiled the resolution they hope will give them observer membership of the United Nations but held back from setting a date for a vote.

With the United States firmly against the move, and President Barack Obama’s new administration still considering its next move in Middle East peace efforts, Arab League foreign ministers are to discuss the resolution next week, diplomats said.

The Palestine mission to the United Nations sent a letter to UN members with its proposed resolution saying it would be put to the 193 member UN General Assembly “at a date to be announced in the near future.”

The resolution would call on the assembly to award observer membership and urge the 15-nation UN Security Council to “consider favorably” an application for full membership made last year by President Mahmud Abbas.

The United States has blocked the full membership bid, threatening to use a veto at the Security Council, which must approve any full application. It cannot hold up any bid for observer membership at the General Assembly.

The Palestinian application is certain to be passed at the General Assembly but the question would be how big a majority they would get if the United States opposes the resolution.

The Palestinian mission says that 132 countries now recognize the Palestinian state. Abbas has pressed for greater UN recognition in frustration at the deadlock in the peace process.

Talks with Israel have been frozen since September 2010, with the Palestinians refusing to negotiate while Israel expands its settlements in the occupied territories.

The United States and Israel say a peace deal can only be achieved in direct talks.

Arab League foreign ministers are to meet on November 12-13 and could set a date for a vote if Abbas agrees, UN diplomats said


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