Arabs to urge yes vote on Palestinian UN bid


A picture taken on September 2, 2010 shows the Israeli settlement of Pisgat Zeev (left) behind its controversial separation barrier on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israel’s Interior Minister Eli Yishai has given final approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler homes in East Jerusalem, his spokesman said on Thursday (AFP photo)

A delegation of Arab foreign ministers will urge permanent members of the Security Council next week to vote for Palestinian UN membership, a top Palestinian official said Thursday.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat told Agence France-Presse the group would talk with representatives from the veto-wielding Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States in a bid to sway them in favour of the Palestinian request for membership.

Meanwhile, Israel’s interior minister has given final approval for the construction of 1,600 new settler housing units in East Jerusalem, his spokesperson said Thursday, prompting a furious reaction from Palestinian officials.

The Arab move is also likely to anger the international community as it struggles to find a way to relaunch peace talks in a bid to head off a Palestinian plan to seek United Nations membership, according to AFP.

“A delegation of Arab foreign ministers, headed by the foreign minister of Qatar… will visit the five permanent members at the end of next week to persuade them to vote for UN recognition and membership for the Palestinian state,” Erekat told AFP.

The Palestinians have said they plan to approach the Security Council in September to seek membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, to include the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

But Washington has said it will vote against membership, and Britain and France have reacted to the bid with caution, suggesting they would prefer the Palestinians to return to peace talks rather than pursue UN membership. read more

Categories: Palestine

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