Palestine affirms decision to request UN membership

Updated: 2011-09-08 22:09


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RAMALLAH - The Palestinian leadership Thursday decided to go ahead with the submission of a full membership request to the United Nations despite Israeli and US objection.

"The Palestinian leadership will continue its efforts with all friend nations and countries to achieve this goal," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO's Executive Committee, after a meeting of the committee in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The UN recognition of the Palestinian state "will help launch a new serious peace process and negotiations with a clear goal: implementing the two-state solution," Abed Rabbo added.

The Palestinian leadership is working to gather as much support as possible before the UN General Assembly starts its meeting on September 20.

The Palestinians want the recognition to identify Palestine as a state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians say the state would be made of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which Israel has occupied in 1967.

The US administration wants the Palestinians to resume peace talks with Israel, but the Palestinians say Israel must call off a decision that allows Jewish settlers in the West Bank to expand their settlements.

Abed Rabbo said the Palestinians reject US offers to resume negotiations instead of going to the United Nations. "We are serious in the negotiations, but we want to back them with a pressing international position so the talks would be serious," he explained.

"Going to the UN does not contradict with negotiations; the two issues complement each other," Abed Rabbo said.