Abbas confirms to make U.N. statehood bid in Sept

SARAJEVO Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:28pm IST

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting in Ramallah July 26, 2011. bbas said on Tuesday the Palestinians will apply for full U.N. membership at September's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, confirming the timing of a step opposed by the United States and Israel. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman/Files

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a meeting in Ramallah July 26, 2011. bbas said on Tuesday the Palestinians will apply for full U.N. membership at September's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, confirming the timing of a step opposed by the United States and Israel.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman/Files

Related Topics

Inside the Peshawar school

Inside the Peshawar school

The aftermath inside the Pakistan school where at least 132 students and nine staff members were killed by Taliban gunmen.  Pictures 

SARAJEVO (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday the Palestinians will apply for full U.N. membership at September's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly, confirming the timing of a step opposed by the United States and Israel.

"The application will be submitted to the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon," he told a news conference in Sarajevo, ending a three-day visit to Bosnia during which he asked for support for the U.N. bid. "There is no date. Any time during the U.N. session we can submit the application."

With paralysis in the U.S.-backed peace process, Abbas's plan is to apply for full U.N. membership for a state of Palestine in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Palestinian officials have presented the plan as a move towards leveling the playing field with Israel in future negotiations. The Palestinians began talks with Israel two decades ago with the aim of establishing an independent state.

Israel has condemned the U.N. bid as an attempt to isolate it and undermine the legitimacy of its own statehood.

The United States, Israel's main ally, also opposes the initiative, seeing it as unhelpful to efforts to bring about a negotiated end to the conflict. Washington is expected to use its U.N. Security Council veto to block the application.

Anticipating that outcome, Palestinian officials have said they will also apply for an upgrade in their U.N. status to that of a non-member state. Such an upgrade would not require Security Council approval and could be achieved by tabling a resolution in the General Assembly, Palestinian officials say.

Asked about that idea, Abbas said: "After the discussion at the Security Council, we will see. Anyhow, we are going there with an Arab follow-up committee, and we will make consultations with them to decide what we want."

"We don't want to boycott Americans. At the same time, they will not boycott us," he said. "We will continue to cooperate with the Americans and the European countries. They help us, work with us."

This year's 66th General Assembly meetings are set to open officially on Sept. 13 with high-level meetings of world leaders expected to start on Sept. 20.

(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Tom Perry and Alastair Macdonald)

FILED UNDER:

World Wrap

REUTERS SHOWCASE

26/11 Accused

26/11 Accused

Pakistan to appeal bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Android For cars

Android For cars

Exclusive: Google aiming to go straight into car with next Android – sources.  Full Article 

Mass Stabbing

Mass Stabbing

Eight children killed in Australia in reported mass stabbing.  Full Article 

In Distress

In Distress

Former SpiceJet owner leading rescue plan: reports.  Full Article 

PM's Moves

PM's Moves

Modi moves in to speed up $300 billion stuck projects.  Full Article 

Losing Popularity

Losing Popularity

Dalai Lama's star waning in the West, China official says.  Full Article 

Tis' The Season

Tis' The Season

Stars around the world wish you Happy Holidays.  Video 

Cyber Warfare

Cyber Warfare

For N.Korea's cyber army, long-term target may be telecoms, utility grids.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage