Abbas vows UN membership amid diplomatic tussle
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Last Updated: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 19:17
Ramallah (Palestinian Territories): President Mahmud Abbas has promised Palestinians he will seek UN membership before the Security Council next week, amid mounting opposition from Israel and the United States.

With Washington calling the move "counterproductive," Abbas told Palestinians in a televised address on Friday: "It is our legitimate right to demand the full membership of the state of Palestine in the UN.

Europe on Saturday joined the diplomatic tussle, calling for a "constructive solution" on Palestinian statehood and a resumption of negotiations with Israel.

"We continue to believe that a constructive solution that can gather as much support as possible and allows for the resumption of negotiations is the best and only way to deliver the peace and two state solution the Palestinian people want," said Jaja Cocijanic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Russia has said it will vote in favour of the Palestinian move, and on Friday US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss "certain issues of the Middle East situation," including the Palestinian UN bid, a foreign ministry statement in Moscow said.

In Israel on Saturday, Yossi Peled, a Likud party minister without portfolio in the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told public radio that Israel could not prevent the Palestinian UN recourse.


First Published: Saturday, September 17, 2011, 19:17

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