UN envoy says Palestinians ready for statehood
United Nations: The Palestinian Authority
is ready to govern a nation but deadlock with Israel has made
a two-state solution far from certain, the UN special envoy
for the Middle East peace process said on Wednesday.
Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have
been on hold for 10 months. They broke down shortly after
Washington relaunched the first direct negotiations between
the two sides for nearly two years.
"The Palestinian Authority is ready to assume the
responsibilities of statehood at any point in the near
future," Serry said in a briefing to the UN Security Council.
But he warned that without a "credible political path
forward," the "viability of the Palestinian Authority and its
statebuilding agenda -- and, I fear, of the two-state solution
itself -- cannot be taken for granted."
He called the deadlock between the two sides "profound
The peace talks ground to a halt in September last
year when Israel's partial freeze on settlement construction
expired and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to
The Palestinians say they will not hold talks while
Israel builds on land they want for a future state, while
Netanyahu blames the Palestinians for the stalemate.
The Palestinian Authority has set itself a September
2011 deadline to be ready for statehood, with the hope of
pressuring Israel and the international community to recognise
a Palestinian state.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas said Saturday
that the Palestinians' bid to win UN backing for statehood was
forced upon them by Israel's refusal to halt settlement
building and end its occupation.