Monday, September 19, 2011

Palestinian President Abbas meets UN Chief, reaffirms push for statehood

“Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday that he would push ahead with plans to seek full UN membership for a Palestinian state, a move the United States and Israel say could lead to disaster.

Abbas met Ban at the UN headquarters and reaffirmed that he planned to ask this week for a Security Council vote on Palestinian membership despite the certainty of a US veto, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rdaineh said.

Ban, through whom any application must be made, told Abbas he would "perform his duties under the U.N. charter," and called for the Israelis and the Palestinians to resume negotiations "within a legitimate and balanced framework," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Earlier, Abbas said "all hell has broken out" over the statehood bid, and acknowledged it carried risks for his Palestinian Authority, which depends on international financial aid for its survival in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

"We decided to take this step and all hell has broken out against us," he told reporters on his flight to New York, but added that he would not be swayed. "From now until I give the speech, we have only one choice: going to the Security Council. Afterwards, we will sit and decide," he said”

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